Grace: To have an intimate knowledge of our Lord, Who has become human for me, that I may love Him more and follow Him more closely.
Text for prayer: Mt. 2:13-21
Reflection: No sooner has Jesus has been born than he is forced to flee to Egypt, along with Mary and Joseph, to avoid death. The Magi have deceived Herod, and Herod wants him dead, so much that he orders the death of all of the infant boys in Bethlehem. Herod is more concerned about the things of this passing world, rather than things that are divine.
We sense God’s protection of his only son. He leads him through the desert to a place of safety and when it is safe for him to return, he calls him back.
A child, forced to wander in the desert, cared for by God, and called back…
Though the circumstances of our lives might be quite different and we might not be threatened with imminent death, we often wander through deserts in our own lives. Our contemporary culture has little room for God or the eternal questions about truth, goodness, and beauty. Materialism and instant gratification are the norm. Often encouraged by others and our own appetites, we only wander further into these enticing, yet ephemeral deserts where we cannot experience the joy of being called a child of God or be part of the family of God in communion with others. We instead remain restless and become more lonely and isolated.
Yet we cannot forget that, in the midst of our wanderings, God still cares for us and is always calling us back to him. We have only to place our lives fully in his hands, as Mary and Joseph did, when they fled to Egypt. We might be forced to live in the world with its many distractions and because of our human weaknesses succumb to temptations, but we must always keep our eyes firmly fixed on God. Through the many examples of the saints, He alone can show us how to live as his sons and daughters. He always cares for us, despite what the world may want us to think.
Questions: Are there any particular deserts in my own life where I find myself wandering today? Where am I experiencing difficulty in trusting God’s Providence? Where have I experienced Providence in the past? Where has God brought good out of difficulties in my life? Am I willing to trust God now?