By Fr. Roy Cimagala
THE Feast of the Holy Innocents on December 28 (cfr. Mt 2,13-18) obviously reminds us that like those martyred babies, we too can be martyred anytime as collateral victims in our life drama when we try to be consistent with our Christian faith. Therefore, we should be ready for it, strengthening our faith and love for God and others, and losing the fear of suffering and martyrdom.
The Feast also reminds us that dreams can be a very effective vehicle for God’s message to reach us. We can see this clearly in the case of the two Josephs in the Bible, one in the Old Testament and the other in the New.
In the case of Joseph, the son of Jacob, his brothers branded him as a dreamer out of envy. He told them of a dream about his sheaf of crop standing out and those of his brothers bowing down to his. Also, he dreamt of the sun, moon, and 11 stars bowing down to him, which further stirred the envy of his brothers.
This was later on realized when even Jacob and Joseph’s brothers had to bow down to him, already as a governor of Egypt who was in charge of dispensing grain during the time of famine. This part of the story of Joseph is most moving, for it shows his magnanimity and how good a person he was in spite of the grave injustice inflicted on him by his own brothers.
Somehow the Old Testament Joseph prefigures the New Testament St. Joseph. Like the former, the latter also had dreams that shaped his life. He was clarified about his vocation and mission in life through a dream. Like the former, the latter also had to go to Egypt because of the rampage of killing of the innocents.
We can only wish that we have dreams like those of the two Josephs. This should be part of our constant prayers. Even if we should not pay much attention to our dreams, since they are beyond our control, we should realize that dreams somehow play an important role in our life. They can tell us many things about ourselves, and about others also, and many other things.
We have to know how to handle them, when to take them seriously and when not. The proper and basic attitude, I think, is not to be afraid of them and to remain calm, especially when they are distressing. We should also bring them to our prayers, always asking for a light from God.
I suppose that for this wonderful possibility of our dreams to take place, we should put ourselves in the proper condition so that our dreams can truly be channels through which God’s messages can reach us. For this, we should see to it that all throughout the day, we live a clean life, full of love and goodness to everyone. Let’s be humble and simple and yet very active in battling against the enemies of God and of our soul.
Yes, dreams can express the content of our subconscious mind and heart, our fears, hidden desires and pent-up emotions. When this is the case, it can only mean that we have to improve on our integrity and simplicity, our unity of life, resolving with the grace of God and our efforts whatever inner contradictions we harbor in our hearts, especially the tension between our spirit and our wounded flesh.
I believe that’s when our dreams can truly be an effective link between God and us!
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