Today is the Feast of the Holy Innocents, martyrs. We gather as the faithful to remember all those innocent baby boys, two years old and younger who were brutally ripped from their mother’s arms and killed. King Herod, power-driven and jealous man that he was, issued this malicious order upon learning that the magi could not tell him of the whereabouts of the newborn king.
As the year 2020 comes to an end, we can all recount how our lives have been forever changed between the natural disasters, wars, divisions, brutality, violence and the continuing pandemic. Times of distress, anxiety, hopelessness, physical, emotional and spiritual pain have colored our daily lives. This feast of the Holy Innocents serves to remind us of the pain and suffering experienced by the families of all the murdered children. Our own pain makes their pain more real to us than in other years.
On the other hand, though, even though we have and continue to experience a sense of despair and frustration at times, ALL is not lost! This is the Christmas season, we just celebrated the birth of Jesus, messiah and Lord a few short days ago! In our first reading from 1John, we are reminded that our God is a God of light, a merciful God, who is ready to forgive our sins and continues to be the light that guides us no matter how dark things seem to be. This is GOOD NEWS!
Our God calls us to be faithful and trust in the beautiful hope that the incarnation brings to each one of us! We are called to follow the light of Christ that never grows dim. We are called to be that light to others who suffer in our families, communities and world. May we live into the mystery and hope of that first Christmas and continue to spread the message of joy we feel during this holy and happy season.
Blessings for a happy and healthy new year ahead!
Theresa Secord recently retired as a Pastoral Associate at St. Agnes Parish, Louisville, Kentucky.