Holy Innocents


Monday Reflection


28th December 2020


'he was furious...'

16 When Herod realized
   that he had been outwitted
   by the Magi, he was furious,
   and he gave orders to kill
   all the boys in Bethlehem
   and its vicinity who were
   two years old and under,'

.... Matthew 2:16

This passage makes blunt
and disturbing reading.
If we read the complete passage
in verses 13 to 18,
we find a warning in a dream;
a family forced to become
refugees in a foreign country
and the brutal killing of
innocent children.

The slaughter of these children,
the "Holy Innocents",
is heart-breaking to imagine,
no wonder there were the sound
of voices wailing and weeping;
such a tragedy seems

This is a painful gospel.

When we read this account,
we wonder how these things
could come about,
how God could allow
it to happen?

I'm sure most of us
at some time or another
have posed the question,
"Why does God allow
bad things to happen?

If He has the power
to do all things,
why does He allow
bad things to happen?"

Indeed, we claim to serve
an all loving,
all-powerful God;
yet, bad things do
happen in our world.
I don't have an answer;
but I don't think it is
our place to know how God
works through the world.

We know a lot about how
God works because
He's revealed that to us
through His Word.
However, we don't, and cannot,
know everything.

We don't know why He allows
some tragedies and prevents others;
we don't know why
some hurricanes just blow over
and others cause millions of
pounds worth of damage;
we don't know why
some people are healed,
while others die, of disease.

We don't know why
some children have perfect
happy families and others
have broken families.

We just don't know the answers
to all of these things.

But we must keep in mind
that this action was not
a result of God's doing,
it was the result of Herod's sin.

God cannot and does not sin;
he never does anything wrong.
The terrible death of all
of these children came as a
result of Herod's jealousy, rage,
and the evil in his heart.

But the sin that caused
the death of these children
is exactly the reason that Jesus came.

Remember, the angel told Joseph
that Jesus would save
His people from their sins.

Jesus came to rescue us
from our sin!
From our own sins and
from the sins of others!

The world that God chose
to enter is a dangerous one.

The massacre of innocent
lives continues across
our globe.

Unjust rulers wreak havoc
leaving behind a trail
of human misery.

Genocide, atrocities,
refugee camps, hunger,
disease and major
displacement are
the order of our day.

Nothing seems to change.

Just as there was wailing,
sorrow, and lamenting
in Jesus' day,
there also is wailing, sorrow,
and lamenting in our world today.

If we were ever to have
true peace in our world,
we might not recognize this
planet as our home.

We might think that
we are already in heaven!

What can we do to make
our world more loving
and more peace-filled?

Let us to try to act
and respond lovingly
to the people and the
situations that we encounter
as we go about our daily
routine today.

We may not be able
to change the world,
but we can try to make our
"little corner of the world"
a more loving and joyful place.

Who knows?
The actions of one person
may make our
"little corner of the world"
a brighter and
more loving place.