The Holy Innocents

Today, December 28th, we celebrate the Feast of the Holy Innocents.  The story of the Holy Innocents is found in Matthew 2:13-18.  Herod was king of the region and had heard from the Magi that a new king had been born to the Jews. Herod saw this as a threat to his power.  He had told the magi to return to him when they found the newborn king so that he might give him homage.  The magi did not and Herod was furious.  He wanted to kill the newborn king.  So, he ordered the massacre of all newborn males under the age of two in Bethlehem to eliminate the threat to his power.  Fortunately, Joseph had already left with Mary and Jesus for Egypt as instructed in the dream.  Unfortunately, the other boys were massacred.

This is not the first time something like this happened.  Remember the story in the first chapter of Exodus?  The Israelites were gaining strength and the Egyptians were beginning to worry.  So, the pharaoh ordered that all newborn male Israelites were to be killed.  From this, comes the story of Moses comes where his mother cast him into the Nile were he was rescued by the pharaoh’s daughter.

Life is a gift to be cherished.  Ecclesiastes 3 tells us that there is an appointed time for everything, a time to be born and a time to die.  It is not for us to decide the time of birth or death.  At either end of life, life is a gift, and everyone in between.

We can think of historical events such as the Holocaust where Hitler set out to get rid of all the Jews.

Life is a gift.  May we always cherish the gift, at birth, at death, and everywhere in between.


Fr. Jeff

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