Voce mea ad Dominum

Random thoughts from an amateur theologist.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

The Holy Innocents

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 2:18

Today is the feast of the Holy Innocents, those infants and toddlers who according to St. Matthew's gospel were massacred by King Herod in and around Bethlehem in his mad rage against the prophesied newborn King of Israel. Our Lady and St. Joseph were warned of the danger and fled into Egypt in exile. In truth, there is deeper drama going on here than just a crazed king out to slaughter innocent children to destroy the infant Jesus. St. Matthew, who wrote his gospel for the Hebrew Christians, is making a parallel between Jesus and Moses, for the tradition is that Pharoah was warned of the impending birth of him who would lead Israel from bondage in Egypt, so Pharoah makes plans to kill the infant Moses to prevent Israel from being freed, and so he orders the killing of all Hebrew infant and toddler boys. In this manner St. Matthew, who writes for a Jewish audience, draws parallels between the life of Jesus and the life of Moses.

In our world today, we have our own "Holy Innocents": the victims of abortion, and we have a multitude of "Herod's" in the people who would view an innocent child in the womb as a risk to their control of their kingdoms. The innocent victims of abortion cry out for justice in a world where people feel that they must be in absolute control of their own destiny and an infant is a threat, just as Herod felt a threat to his destiny by the newborn Jesus in Bethlehem. The innocent unborn are unique creatures created in the image of God and filled with dignity. They are not evidence of the failure of birth control pills nor are they inconveniences to our level of comfort nor are they strains on our bank accounts. They are not a threat to our "kingdoms", rather, like the infant Jesus which we celebrate in the Incarnation, they are blessings which bring meaning and purpose to our lives.

Let us pray for an end to the tragedy of abortion, for until it is ended the Church, the mother of the faithful, like Rachel cries out in sobbing and loud lamentation for her children, and she will not be consoled, since they are no more.

Through the intercession of the Holy Innocents may God in his mercy protect the sanctity of all human life.


Post a Comment

<< Home