The Holy Innocents,Martyrs Feast***jpman***
** THE HOLY INNOCENTS, Martyrs Feast **
The Church remembers the Holy Innocents who died in Bethlehem at the hands of King Herod’s soldiers. The evangelist Matthew composes the story to parallel that of Moses, thus establishing the role of Jesus as the new leader, the one who is to guide God’s people into freedom and salvation.
The innocents were slaughtered as infants for Christ; spotless, they follow the Lamb and sing for ever: Glory to you, O Lord.
“Herod killed all the male children in Bethlehem.”
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew (Matthew 2:13-18)
When the Wise Men had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Rise, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there till I tell you; for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him.” And he rose and took the child and his mother by night, and departed to Egypt, and remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfil what the Lord had spoken by the prophet, “Out of Egypt have I called my son.” Then Herod, when he saw that he had been tricked by the Wise Men, was in a furious rage, and he sent and killed all the male children in Bethlehem and in all that region who were two years old or under, according to the time which he had ascertained from the Wise Men. Then was fulfilled what was spoken by the prophet Jeremiah: “A voice was heard in Ramah, wailing and loud lamentation, Rachel weeping for her children; she refused to be consoled, because they were no more.”
** Today's Reflection **
Why did God allow the slaughter of those infants? Honestly, I can find no answer. Just as I find no plausible explanation for the death of so many innocent people in our world almost every day. Human beings have always tried to unravel the mystery of innocent suffering. Herod thought that he could do away with the “King” with the power of the sword! A messenger is sent to Joseph instructing him on how to protect his son. Could not God protect His Son in some other way without the family having to flee from the enemy? It must have been a tremendous test of faith for joseph. Thank you, Lord, for giving me to realize that cooperating with God’s plan calls for sacrifice and struggle as it did in the case of Joseph.