Fleeing political oppression is almost as ancient as human history. What is new is how I choose to respond to it today.
Creator of all my human brother and sisters, from fear, selfishness, a closed heart, deliver me I pray.
After the wise men 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… Matthew 2:12-14 (NRSV)
Invitation to prayer
Remember the image of a refugee family you have seen recently in the news. As you think of them, what prayers are emerging in your heart, mind, body, and imagination? Pray them now.
Photo and placement of this image in relationship to the labyrinth
Jesus sitting on Mary’s lap and Joseph leading their donkey. The image is the left panel of the sixth row (from the bottom, counting up) of the Life of Christ window. This twelfth century stained glass window is in the center of the west wall, directly under the rose of the Chartres Cathedral in France. This image is visible from all those places in the labyrinth where the walker is facing west. As one leaves the center the labyrinth, and on all the straight sections of the pathway as one returns to the threshold, the window and Mary are fully visible.
To the east of the labyrinth:
The apsidal image of Mary as a throne for Jesus who is sitting on her lap blessing on the top of the East central window (above the choir).
The Annunciation of Jesus’ birth to Mary in the East central window (above the choir).
The Visitation of Mary and her cousin Elizabeth in the East central window (above the choir).
To the west of the labyrinth:
Mary in the Tree of Jesse (Ancestors of Jesus). Twelfth century window (1140-1150) on the north side of the west wall.
The Annunciation in The Life of Christ Window. Twelfth century window (1145-1155), the central window on the west wall.
The Visitation of Mary and Elizabeth in the Life of Christ Window.
The Nativity: Mary, Jesus and Joseph in the Life of Christ Window.
The Kings Visit Jesus and Mary in the life of Christ Window.