A Prayer for Christmas Peace – Matthew 2:1-18 by Fr. Michael Sparough, SJ

Matthew 2:1-18 juxtaposes the joy of the adoration of the baby Jesus by the Magi with the horror of the slaughter of the innocents by a jealous King Herod. This same juxtaposition continues in our world today when we celebrate Emmanuel, God with us, and yet in many parts of the world unjust pain and suffering persist, especially in the lives of those who are refugees from war and oppression.

Fr. Michael relates these two opposing stories to two poems, his own titled “A Prayer for Christmas Peace” and that of Tom Hegg, “A Cup of Christmas Tea.”

Click the arrow below; listen, and join in the prayer to bring about the peace promised by Christ’s birth in the manger. You can read the text of Fr. Michael’s poem by scrolling below the video.

A Prayer for Christmas Peace
by J. Michael Sparough, SJ

Herod’s swordsmen still ravage the land.
The blood of young innocents drips deep red in a sea of sorrow.
Rachel’s wail still haunts the land as she cries for her children.
She will not be comforted.

And you, oh, Woman of Sorrow, God’s sword has pierced your heart
That secret thoughts be laid bare. His light shines from a contradicted sign.
Your Child snatched from Satan’s hand at midnight,
Your Child – our hope; you – the Mother of our Joy.

Into this shadowland of fragile promises and broken dreams,
Your Child has come – with straw for a bed, a cave for a home.
There are only shepherd servants and foreign kings – believing unbelievers,
Who penetrate the mystery, who gaze past what they see, to pierce this veil of fear.

O Child of Hope, You entered our earth unprotected; faced the terror of your times.
At a tender age, as outcast, as refugee, one scurrying for life,
Not snuggled in blankets, nor in a palace of protection, not in a crib of comfort,
Nor adorned in crimson gowns, but into our world, as it is, You were born.

You grew in wisdom, age, and grace. You laughed. You cried.
You loved. You bled – More one of us that we to ourselves.
Hidden in this mystery is divine protection so well concealed
As to be invisible to all but the gentlest of hearts.

O Little Child, come lead us. Save us from sole recourse on self-reliance.
When, like Joseph, we are awakened at midnight and told to flee,
Teach us a deeper trust, a holier hope. Lead us, O Little Lord,
To a more Christ-filled Christmas. For only in Your will is our peace.

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1 Response to A Prayer for Christmas Peace – Matthew 2:1-18 by Fr. Michael Sparough, SJ

  1. illinipeg says:

    Beautifully, Heartbreaking. Heart-opening. Heartwarming. All at the same time. Thank-you for inspiring hearts to serve, to love & to build community.

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