Gift: Fear of the Lord (Wonder and Awe) – With the gift of wonder and awe (fear of the lord), we are aware of the glory and majesty of God. A person with wonder and awe knows that God is the perfection of all we desire: perfect knowledge, perfect goodness, perfect power, and perfect love.
Reading: When they 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.” Joseph rose and took the child and his mother by night and departed for Egypt. 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.” (Matthew 2:13-15)
Observation: As I begin to read the gospel reading this morning, it was like a bolt of lightning went through my head saying, God is revealing the truth to you about sin right here. It may not sound so clear to anyone reading this, but I heard God saying in this story of Herod’s fear of the Messiah, a call to remember to go where God sends us, so that we can be free of sin. If it is true that I want to be free of sin in my life, or at least serious sin that would require confession on a regular basis, like once a week, than I must be willing to take my trips to Egypt when God calls me to go there. God could have stopped Herod, but he didn’t because he was revealing truth about evil. It will find you, unless you go where God sends you.
Personification: Faithfulness I am hearing today a call to be willing to go even deeper in my faith life, to listen more intently to the call of the Lord on a more regular basis. If I am going to be the soldier for Christ that God wants me to be, than I have to be willing to take those trips to Egypt, if only in my mind, to keep away from temptation.
Prayer: Saint Michael, the Archangel, defend us in battle. Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, I humbly pray; and do you O prince of the heavenly host, by the power of God, cast into hell Satan and the evil spirits who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls. I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit. Amen.