Thursday, December 27, 2018
HOLY INNOCENTS, Martyrs
December 28, 2018 - FRIDAY
HOLY INNOCENTS, Martyrs
1 Jn 1: 5 - 2: 2 / Mt 2: 13- 18
The Holy Innocents celebrate the memory of the male children two years old and under ordered to be killed by King Herod in his attempt to kill the Infant Christ Child.
From the 1st Reading: 1 Jn 2: 1 - 2
My little children, I write to you that you may not sin. But if anyone sins, we have an intercessor with the Father, Jesus Christ, the Just One. He is the sacrificial victim for our sins and the sins of the whole world.
From the Gospel Reading: Mt 2: 13 - 16a
After the wise men had left, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph and said, "Get up, take the child and his mother and flee to Egypt, and stay there until I tell you, for Herod will soon be looking for the child in order to kill him"
Joseph got up, took the child and his mother, and left that night for Egypt. Where he stayed until the death of Herod. In this way, what the Lord had said through the prophet was fulfilled: I called my son out of Egypt.
When Herod found out that he had been tricked by the wise men, he was furious. He gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its neighborhood who were two years old or under.
Today we celebrate the Holy Innocents, martyred by King Herod in his quest to destroy the newborn Messiah sought by the Wise Men from the East. Today's feast also celebrates all infants who die in innocence and consoles parents of these infants.
Life is indeed a gift and a mystery as God's ways are truly beyond explanation. Why have so many died in their infancy? Why have so many been plagued with severe handicaps or disease at birth? In King Herod's slaughter of "all the boys in Bethlehem and its neighborhood who were two years or under" we see the sad presence of disorder and sin in the world. So many innocent and helpless children have been similarly sacrificed and killed in the history of mankind. Indeed we do live in a dark and sinful world.
The first reading from John's first letter gives us hope that we have an intercessor before God in the Lord Christ and that he is the "sacrificial victim for our sins and the sins of the whole world." Following the example of the Lord Jesus there have also been so many men and women who have been God's shining lights in our dark world, standing and living for justice, truth and love.
As we celebrate the birth of God made man among us, we pray that we may be among those who will make a difference and in some ways bring light and hope to our dark world.
FINALLY, WE PRAY FOR ONE ANOTHER, FOR THOSE WHO HAVE ASKED OUR PRAYERS AND FOR THOSE WHO NEED OUR PRAYERS THE MOST.
Have a good day!
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