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One Minute Reflection – 28 December – They are alive! 

One Minute Reflection – 28 December – The Feast of the Holy Innocents – The Fourth Day of the Christmas Octave, Readings: 1 John 1:5-2:2, Psalm 124:2-5, 7-8, Matthew 2:13-18

“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.” … Matthew 2:18matthew 2 18 - a voice was heard in rama - feast of the holy innocents 28 dec 2019.jpg

REFLECTION – “Where does this jealousy lead?…   The crime committed today shows us. Fear of a rival to his earthly kingdom fills Herod with anxiety, he plots to suppress “the newborn King” (Mt 2:2), the eternal Kin, he fights against his Creator and puts innocent children to death…   As for those children, what fault had they committed?   Their tongues were dumb, their eyes had seen nothing, their ears heard nothing, their hands done nothing.   They accepted death who had not known life. ( … )   Christ reads the future and knows the secrets of the heart, He weighs our thoughts and probes our intentions (cf. Ps 138[139]), why did He forsake them? ( … )   Why did the newborn heavenly King abandon these companions in innocence, forget the sentinels watching around His crib to such an extent, that the foe who wanted to get at the King, ravaged His whole army?

My brethren, Christ did not forsake His soldiers but covered them with honour by allowing them to conquer, before they had lived and to carry away the prize, without a fight. ( … )   He wanted them to possess heaven rather than earth. ( … )   He sent them before Him as His heralds.   He did not abandon them but saved those who went on ahead.   He did not forget them. ( … )

Blessed are they who have exchanged their travail for repose, their pains for ease, their suffering for joy.   They are alive!   Yes, they are alive, they live indeed, who have undergone death for Christ’s sake. ( … )   Happy the tears their mothers shed for these infants, they have won them the grace of baptism. ( … )   May He who deigned to rest in a stable be pleased to lead us also, to the heavenly pastures.” … St Peter Chrysologus (400-450) Bishop of Ravenna, Father and Doctor of the Churchthey accepted death who had not known life - st peter chrysologus - holy innocents - 28 dec 2019.jpg

PRAYER – We praise you, O God, we acclaim you as Lord, the white-robed army of martyrs praise you. (from the Te Deum).we-praise-you-o-god-te-deum-28-dec-2017 and 2019.jpg

Posted in CHRISTMASTIDE!, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, MORNING Prayers, ON the SAINTS, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

Thought for the Day – 28 December – The Feast of the Holy Innocents – The 4th Octave Day of Christmas

Thought for the Day – 28 December – The Feast of the Holy Innocents – The 4th Octave Day of Christmas

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…  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….Matthew 2:13-18

We call martyrs those saints who chose to give their lives for Jesus Christ.   These innocent children also gave their lives but they didn’t choose to  . They were chosen for martyrdom.   For centuries innocent lives have been taken and people can’t help asking ‘why?’   The suffering of innocent children is still a scandal for our human hearts.   That happened during WWII in a concentration camp.   The Nazi guards decided one day to hang a child in front of thousands of prisoners in formation.   Elie Wiesel, who writes the story, explains that the child was so light that he hanged, struggling to gasp, for more than half an hour.   ‘Where is God now?’ asked one of those prisoners forced to contemplate the suffering of the child.   “Behind me,” writes Wiesel, “I heard the same man asking:   ‘For God’s sake, where is God?’   And from within me, I heard a voice answer-   ‘Where is He? This is where – hanging here from this gallows…’”

God’s agony didn’t finish on Calvary.   When innocent children cry, God mixes His Tears with theirs, when they bleed, God’s Heart bleeds with them.   If they ask you ‘where is God?’, tell them that God is on Calvary still, dying every day in the womb of some mothers, He is the Victim of famines, of epidemics, of wars, of abuses, of bullying, of mafias, of trafficking, of abandonment, of persecution, of terrorism, of injustice of any kind.   God is still in agony in the suffering of innocents.

But we are with you, Mary, Mother of all Innocents, helping Jesus to bear His Cross, comforting Him with our prayer and reminding Him with our love that all that He suffers for us is worthwhile, and asking God for the end of all this injustice.

Fr George Boronat M.D. S.T.D is a Catholic priest from the Prelature of Opus Dei,
working in the Archdiocese of Southwark in London.

Holy Innocents, Pray for us!holy innocents - pray for us no 2 - 28 dec 2017