The Catholic Defender: December 28, The Feast of Holy The Holy Innocents
“Joy to the World” the trumpets blare, for it’s Christmas time! “Merry Christmas!”, “Ding dong Merrily on high”. The season of Joy, the season of light. Gift giving and singing and feasting and celebration. A season of lifting spirits and shattering darkness.
Isaiah 9 proclaims “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light, among those who walked in the land of gloom, a light has shown.”
So, why, right in the very center of Christmas, are we commemorating this horrible atrocity? The reason we are commemorating it is because ours is a church of truth and there is no escaping the fact that the slaughter of the innocents did in fact happened this points to life. Evil does exist in this world and Jesus came to deliver all those who seek to overcome the evil by following the way of a new born child.
Jesus was born December 25, 2 B.C. and we know that the Magi came along between the 25th and the 31st of December as they followed the Star of Bethlehem.
Luke 2:21 tells us that on the 8th day, Jesus was circumcised according to the law.
Then 40 days later (2-3 February, Jesus is presented in the Temple at Jerusalem according to the law of Moses for Mary's purification (Luke 2:22-24). It was after this event that the Angel of the Lord appeared to the Magi in a dream and warned them to go another route and avoid King Herod (Matthew 2:12) and as they were leaving, the Angel appeared to Joseph in a dream and commended them to flee to Egypt (Matthew 2:13).
This is why Mary and Joseph fell under the radar in Jerusalem for the Presentation of Jesus!
King Herod was still awaiting word from the Magi.
December 28 is the Feast of the Holy Innocents.
These are the male children (two years old and younger) who were murdered by King Herod in an attempt to kill the Christ Child.
We do not know how many children died at the hands of Herod in February 1 B.C.
There was an ancient prophecy going back to the time of the Patriarch Jacob.
His beloved wife Rachael died right out side of where Bethlehem would be built. She died having Benjamin, her second son.
Genesis 35:16-20 states, “Then they departed from Bethel; but while they still had some distance to go on the way to Ephrath, Rachel began to be in labor and to suffer great distress. When her pangs were most severe, her midwife said to her, ‘Have no fear! This time, too, you have a son’. With her last breath–for she was at the point of death–she called him Benoni; his father, however, named him Benjamin. This Rachel dies; and she was buried on the road to Ephrath that is, Bethlehem. Jacob set up a memorial stone on her grave, and the same monument marks Rachel’s grave to this day”.
Jeremiah 31:15 states, “Thus says the Lord: In Ramah is heard the sound of moaning, of bitter weeping! Rachel mourns her children, she refuses to be consoled because her children are no more”.
This is a prophecy of the end of Rachel’s morning, we read the fulfillment of this prophecy Matthew 2:16-18 says, “When Herod realized that he had been deceived by the magi, he became furious. He ordered the massacre of all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity two years old and under, in accordance with the time he ascertained from the magi. Then was fulfilled what had been said through Jeremiah the prophet: ‘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”.
What brings an end to Rachel’s morning is the Christ who lives to free all those in captivity.
Jeremiah 15:16 says, “Thus says the Lord: Cease your cries of morning, wipe the tears from your eyes. The sorrow you have shown shall have it’s reward, says the Lord, they shall return from the enemy’s land”.
Jeremiah is prophesying that the children of Israel would return from the Babylonian Captivity, but even more than that!
Revelation 21:3-4 says, “I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Behold, God’s dwelling is with the human race. He will dwell with them and they will be his people and God himself will always be with them as their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there shall be no more death or morning, wailing or pain, for the old order has passed away”.
In the name of Rachel and all that is holy, we must resolve to stop the blood flow and turn back the powers of darkness. To do that, we must oppose Satan not at certain times and certain places, but at every time and every place.
Every Catholic must be engaged, every Rosary raised and every effort made to produce more Catholics who can raise their Rosaries.
We must look beyond our own circles of comfort and find and convert prayer warriors and Holy lives wherever we can find them.
At judgment, may it be said by these holy innocents, and the thousands more who die in the womb each day and those victims of war and violence “they fought for the least of us, they fought for the likes of us”.
What could do more to infuriate the enemy than we fight on despite his most grotesque acts of barbarism against us? That is the message of Christmas. The light came into the world and the darkness did not overcome it (John 1:5), even the darkness of a day like this one.
We are living in a New Testament, a new Covenant, a new age. Rachel’s children are in heaven with Rachel.
We are reminded of the massacre of Herod because what we see today with abortion heaven hears the cry of the silent scream.
Heaven intervened with the plight of the Indian’s in Mexico in 1531 putting an end to the human sacrifices conducted there, heaven again responds to the atrocities committed against humanity today.
Jesus institutes the Ministry of the Divine Mercy.
The more we spread the message of His Divine Mercy, the more children will be saved from the Herod’s of our time.
Now is the day of Salvation, now is the time!