Feast of the Holy Innocents

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Herod “the Great,” king of Judea, was unpopular with his people because of his connections with the Romans and his religious indifference. Hence he was insecure and fearful of any threat to his throne. He was a master politician and a tyrant capable of extreme brutality. He killed his wife, his brother and his sister’s two husbands, to name only a few.

Matthew 2:1-18 tells this story: Herod was “greatly troubled” when astrologers from the east came asking the whereabouts of “the newborn king of the Jews,” whose star they had seen. They were told that the Jewish Scriptures named Bethlehem as the place where the Messiah would be born. Herod cunningly told them to report back to him so that he could also “do him homage.” They found Jesus, offered him their gifts and, warned by an angel, avoided Herod on their way home. Jesus escaped to Egypt.

Herod became furious and “ordered the massacre of all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity two years old and under.” The horror of the massacre and the devastation of the mothers and fathers led Matthew to quote Jeremiah: “A voice was heard in Ramah,/sobbing and loud lamentation;/Rachel weeping for her children…” (Matthew 2:18). Rachel was the wife of Jacob/Israel. She is pictured as weeping at the place where the Israelites were herded together by the conquering Assyrians for their march into captivity.

The Holy Innocents are few, in comparison to the genocide and abortion of our day. But even if there had been only one, we recognize the greatest treasure God put on the earth—a human person, destined for eternity and graced by Jesus’ death and resurrection.

Comments

11 COMMENTS

  1. THANK YOU SOO MUCH FOR THIS BEAUTIFUL WEBSITE WITH THE BEAUTIFUL PICTURES/ARTWORK THAT ACCOMPANY EACH SAINT OF THE DAY! AND THE READINGS FOR THAT DAY AND EVERY THING ELSE ON THIS WEBSITE!

  2. Like this on Facebook

    Dear Joseph,

    News reports over the weekend made it clear that President Obama is the most pro-abortion President we have ever had. Several states have passed laws to defund Planned Parenthood, but the Obama Administration is using the federal government to force states to give tax dollars to the largest abortion provider in America.
    Stop Obama’s Abortion Agenda

    The ACLJ is aggressively battling against Planned Parenthood, the abortion industry, and pro-abortion ObamaCare in Congress and in state and federal courts across the country. We are actively supporting Texas, New Hampshire, and Indiana as they try to stop millions of our state and federal tax dollars from going to Planned Parenthood.

  3. My children once asked me, but they don’t do this anymore (to babies outside the womb) right Mom? And I said to them, they do this all the time in China. This is the daily horror of the one child policy in China for those unborn and born.

  4. You are not seriously comparing genocide to abortion!?! I am appalled and don’t even know what to say… “Pro Life” sometimes has to be “Pro Life of the Mother”…

  5. Claudia, based on government statistics, there have been over 55 million abortion deaths in the US alone just since Roe vs Wade. In wargaming performed in 1979, a moderate nuclear counterforce attack by the USSR against US military targets would have killed an estimated 8 million. Now surely such an attack would have been deemed genocidal and barbaric. It seems the incredulity of argument lies squarely with your assertion.

  6. Perhaps if the Vatican and USA Council of Bishops or who ever took a more strenuous approach to Catholic politicians that promote and make abortion financing with tax dollars possible there would be more progress made in shutting down abortionists. Minority leader Pelosi comes to mind.
    Until “The Church” starts to use all the weapons at its disposal it is just crocodile tears.

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