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Daily Prayer - 2012-12-28

Presence

Dear Lord, you have called me by my name.
You have carved me in the palm of your hand.
May I grow in trust and never give in to despair.

Freedom

"In these days, God taught me
as a schoolteacher teaches a pupil" (Saint Ignatius).
I remind myself that there are things God has to teach me yet,
and ask for the grace to hear them and let them change me.

Consciousness

When I return to my everyday tasks,
remind me, Lord,
that you are always there beside me.
I need never despair.

The Word of God

Matthew 2:13-18

Now after they had left, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, "Get up, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you; for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him." Then Joseph got up, took the child and his mother by night, and went to Egypt, and remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfil what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet, "Out of Egypt I have called my son." When Herod saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, he was infuriated, and he sent and killed all the children in and around Bethlehem who were two years old or under, according to the time that he had learned from the wise men. Then was fulfilled what had been spoken through the prophet Jeremiah: "A voice was heard in Ramah, wailing and loud lamentation, Rachel weeping for her children; she refused to be consoled, because they are no more."

Some thoughts on today's scripture

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  • Having recounted the angel saluting Mary’s child as the long-promised ‘God with us’, Matthew in his Gospel loses no time in picturing the newborn Jesus as representing, even in the events of his earliest days, the mixed historical fortunes of God’s chosen people (who often saw themselves as, collectively, God’s favourite firstborn).
  • Starting with the scene of the Holy Family forced to flee into Egypt, we reflect in our prayer on the whole Jewish people once finding themselves in captivity in Egypt, (and on their eventual release being withheld by the Pharaoh, until first the blood of a child flowed in every house of his own population).
  • Even then, the Chosen People still had further trials to come through – with mothers mourning because separated from their children by death or exile.
  • The road to the fullness of freedom for the people in the Promised Land had tragic turns – as the road before him was to have for Jesus himself; as in one way or another, the road before each of us will always have.

Conversation

Remembering that I am still in God's presence,
I imagine Jesus himself standing or sitting beside me,
and say whatever is on my mind, whatever is in my heart,
speaking as one friend to another.

Conclusion

I thank God for these few moments we have spent alone together and for any insights I may have been given concerning the text.

Amen

If you appreciated the daily prayer or have any suggestions or insights we will be glad to hear from you.