A reading from the gospel according to Matthew 2:13-18
13 When the magi had departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Rise, take the child and his mother, flee to Egypt, and stay there until I tell you. Herod is going to search for the child to destroy him.”
14 Joseph rose and took the child and his mother by night and departed for Egypt.
15 He stayed there until the death of Herod, that what the Lord had said through the prophet might be fulfilled, Out of Egypt I called my son.
16 When Herod realized that he had been deceived by the magi, he became furious. He ordered the massacre of all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had ascertained from the magi.
17 Then was fulfilled what had been said through Jeremiah the prophet:
18 A voice was heard in Ramah, sobbing and loud lamentation; Rachel weeping for her children, and she would not be consoled, since they were no more.
Pointers for Reflection:
1. When Mary was about to give birth, there was no decent room for her delivery. So the baby who would be king was born in a manger (Luke 2:7). The when He was still a toddler, King Herod wanted Him to die because He is a clear threat to his rule. Later, when Jesus began His public ministry, the religious leaders opposed Him. In other words, Jesus had been rejected since birth! It is indeed mind-boggling that many people reject the savior of their souls. It is just the same as rejecting your own medicine and therefore refusing to be healed!
2. There are jealous leaders like King Herod who are greedy of power. They want to hold on to their position come what may and they would do everything including the murder of innocent people so that they can stay in power for as long as they want. On the other hand, there are good people who choose to stay silent in the midst of this evil. Aren’t you angry with murderous people especially among leaders? One death is a tragedy and neighbors grieve. What about the thousands who die in the name of ideology, personal ambition and even religion? Let us pray that the Holy Spirit may enlighten all of us that we may give utmost value to human life and our God-given rights.
3. Let us imagine how Mary and Joseph were fleeing to Egypt to save the life of the King. Imagine too how much sacrifice our parents have to endure just so we could live. Don’t we appreciate them? When was the last time you said thank you to them?