Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Holy Innocents

Today is the feast day of the Holy Innocents. The Gospel today is from Matthew 2:13-18, and he is quoting from the prophet Isaiah at the end of the reading:

When the magi 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.

When Herod realized that he had been deceived by the magi,
he became furious.
He ordered the massacre of all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity
two years old and under,
in accordance with the time he had ascertained from the magi.
Then was fulfilled what had been said through Jeremiah the prophet:

A voice was heard in Ramah,
sobbing and loud lamentation;
Rachel weeping for her children,
and she would not be consoled,
since they were no more.

This story is a modern day parallel as well. Children are slaughtered by the direction of selfish pressures of society, family or other responsibility, much to the dismay of mothers who suffer this great loss of her child who is "no more." However, this story gives hope to the mother of an aborted child that she will one day see her child again in heaven. Young, innocent and not even able to rationalize yet, these children are holy saints of the Catholic Church, the first martyrs who witnessed to Christ's life.

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