Gospel lesson for Sunday after the Nativity of Christ
AFTER THE WISE MEN DEPARTED, behold, 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 will seek the Child to destroy Him.” Then Joseph got up, took the Child and His Mother by night, and went to Egypt, and remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet, “Out of Egypt I have called My Son” (Numbers 24:8, Hosea 11:1). When Herod saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, he was infuriated, and he sent and killed all the male children in and around Bethlehem who were two years old and under, according to the time that he had learned from the wise men. Then was fulfilled what had been spoken through the prophet Jeremiah, “A voice was heard in Ramah, lamentation, weeping, and great mourning. Rachel weeping for her children. She refused to be comforted, because they are no more” (Jeremiah 31:15). When Herod died, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt and said, “Get up, take the Child and His Mother, and go to the land of Israel, for those who were seeking the Child’s life are dead.” Then Joseph got up, took the Child and His Mother, and went to the land of Israel. But when he heard that Archelaus was ruling over Judea in place of his father Herod, Joseph was afraid to go there. And after being warned in a dream, he went away to the district of Galilee. There Joseph made his home in a town called Nazareth, so that what had been spoken through the prophets might be fulfilled, “He will be called a Nazarene.”
Gospel lesson for the 30th Sunday after Pentecost
IN THOSE DAYS, as Jesus was approaching Jericho, a certain blind man sat by the roadside begging. When he heard a crowd going by, he asked what was happening. People told him that Jesus of Nazareth was passing by. Then the blind man shouted, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” Those who were in front rebuked him, ordering him to be quiet. But the blind man shouted even more loudly, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” Jesus stood still and commanded the blind man to be brought to Him. And when he came near, Jesus asked him, “What do you want Me to do for you?” The man said, “Lord, let me see again.” Jesus said to him, “Receive your sight. Your faith has saved you.” Immediately he regained his sight and followed Jesus, glorifying God. And when all the people saw this, they praised God.
Saint Chromatius says that the innocent boys murdered by Herod became the first martyrs for Christ,
In Bethlehem, therefore, all the babies were slain. These innocents who died then on Christ's behalf became the first martyrs of Christ. David refers to them when he says, "From the mouths of nursing babies You have perfected praise because of Your enemies, that You might bring ruin to the enemy" (Psalm 8:2). For in this persecution even tiny infants and nursing babies were killed on Christ's behalf and attained to the consummate praise of martyrs. Meanwhile, the wicked king Herod was destroyed, he who had usurped the realm to defend himself against the King of heavens. Thus it is that those blessed infants have deservedly lasted beyond others. They were the first who were worthy to die on Christ's behalf.
Saint Cyril of Alexandria comments on the blind man's response to Jesus after being healed,
Now that he was delivered from is blindness, did he neglect the duty of loving Christ? He certainly did not. It says, "He regained his sight and followed Jesus, glorifying God." He was set free from double blindness. Not only did he escape from the blindness of the body, but also from that of the mind and heart. He would not have glorified Him as God, had he not possessed spiritual vision. He became the means of others giving Christ glory, for it says that all the people praised God.
The Whole Counsel of God Bible study: