Today’s Gospel: Matthew 2:13-18 – Feast of the Holy Innocents
How many times have you been jarred out of your slumber by a dream and thought to yourself, “Wow… that was a wild dream” as you quickly tried to recreate all that had taken place during your REM sleep? And how many mornings have you woken up remembering you had a crazy dream and although the memory of it seemed to be within your grasp, you couldn’t remember a single detail? That scenario happens to me almost every night. Sometimes I’ll write my dreams down, but truth be told, at 3:00 a.m. it is easier to convince myself that I’ll remember every detail in the morning than it is to convince myself to wake up and grab a pen. How blessed are we that Joseph remembered, retained, and reacted to his dream!
A powerful way for me to pray is to put myself into the story, to close my eyes and place myself in the scene. I do this daily in my Lectio Divina, a method of prayerfully reading Sacred Scripture, in which you slowly read, meditate, pray, contemplate and respond to a specific verse or verses in the Bible. Recently, I’ve added Visio Divina to my prayer time. Visio Divina, which is Latin for “divine seeing,” is a method of praying with an image.
As I meditate upon Matthew 2:13-18, my mind turns Federico Fiori Barocci’s “Rest on the Flight to Egypt.” Gazing upon this fresco, I enter into the commotion of a young family fleeing their home, yet experience the simplicity of the moment. Though their journey is arduous, Our Lady’s face shows serenity and joy as she scoops a bowl of water. Though their future is unknown, Joseph’s face reflects confidence as he extends a cherry branch to the child Jesus. In a time of trial and tribulation, trust in God’s plan and courage to follow it radiate from this serene image.
Looking back, what unexpected “flights” or surprise changes have made you trust in God’s plan for your life? How did your relationship with Him change?
Mary and Joseph, when trials and tribulations come my way, help me imitate you and trust in God’s plan of sheer goodness for my life.
Copyright 2018 Kelly Wahlquist
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