In recalling the Holy Innocents, let us commit ourselves to helping all families who endure the loss of a loved one
Reflections on the readings for the Feast of the Holy Innocents (December 28, 2019): 1 JN 1:5–2:2; PS 124:2-3,4-5,7-8; MT 2:13-18
MISSIO offers “Mission In Scripture” to nurture a missionary heart, providing reflections on the missionary themes in the readings of Sundays, Feast Days and Holy Days
Today we revere the Holy Innocents who suffered martyrdom.
The vicious murder of these babies at the order of the King Herod, makes a harsh and startling contrast with the beautiful story of the birth of Christ that we celebrated just a few days ago. Herod’s first plan to destroy the new King of the Jews failed when an angel of the Lord told the Magi not to return to the ruthless king. But then he cold-bloodedly demanded the murder of all babies around Bethlehem in order to be sure that the right infant was slaughtered. But he failed in this as well. “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’” (Matthew 2:13).
All people experience pain in life, but the special horror of violence can be particularly painful to bear. The grief of the parents of those little ones must have been overwhelming. Let us resolve to do all we can to support people in our own communities who are so wounded. We can reach out to all men, women and children who suffer the loss of a loved one and offer whatever care and comfort possible in their bereavement.
Suggested missionary action: Let us ask God to bless all parents who have lost children as well as all people who grieve for those near and dear to them who have died. Let us offer them our compassion and practical help at this difficult time.