December 31, 2017 by eneubauer
On Thursday, December 28, I was inspired by the Office of Readings in the Liturgy of the Hours describing the death of the Holy Innocents. For those unaware, on Thursday we celebrated the Feast of the Holy Innocents, those children (martyrs) put to death in Herod’s quest to kill Jesus.
What I found fascinating is the reflection Saint Quodvultdeus, bishop had of this event. An excerpt from his sermon:
“Herod is disturbed. To save his kingdom he resolves to kill him (Jesus), though if he would have faith in the child, he himself would reign in peace in this life and for ever in the life to come.”
Herod was so blinded by his “earthly” perspective he completely misread the moment. Jesus was not born to ascend to Herod’s throne nor to supplant Roman rule. He arrived as an innocent yet fragile child to identify with the human person (family), share in our common journey and reconcile man to God through the cross.
When we look at Christ in the manger, is it really so far afield to believe that God wanted to be loved just as he shared His love with us through Jesus? This sacrifice alone (Christ among us) reveals a radical love for humanity as well as a desire for intimate, life-long relationship with us.
Knowing all of this, what is our first reaction? Do we act as Herod did and simply tighten our grip on those things that have no eternal value? Tighten our grip on a pathway that takes us far from God – even unintentionally?
See, the death of the Holy Innocents give each of us a clear choice. Are we following the path of Herod or in the footsteps of the wise men (Kings) coming to worship Jesus? Are we enamored with the kingdoms of this world or awestruck at the revelation of the Kingdom of God in the birth of Jesus Christ? As Christ draws near to us this Christmas season, let us find ourselves willing to draw near to Him. To stop long enough, separating ourselves from the daily distractions and noise from this busy life, to hear His voice, feel His presence and accept His peace.
It is in the still, quite voice within the heart of man that God speaks. Be assured, the prayers of the Holy Innocents are rising to the throne of God on your behalf.