The Catholic Defender: The Holy Innocents
According to the Church Calendar, December 28 is the Feast of the Holy Innocents. Historically, this remembrance could be no sooner than the 40 days after the birth of the Lord on December 25, 2 B.C. It makes sense that February 2 is the earliest this happening could take place when Joseph and Mary returns to Bethlehem from Jerusalem. That means that the Wise men were still present in Bethlehem until God warns them to go a different route.
When Joseph and Mary took Jesus to the Temple, they were under King Herod's radar as he was still awaiting the word from the Wise men informing him they found the Messiah.
King Herod wanted to kill the Christ Child and as soon as the Wise men leave, St. Joseph receives a warning in a dream to leave as well. King Herod ordered all the male children two years and younger to be killed in his attempt to kill the Christ Child.
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 mourning, 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 mourning is the Christ who lives to free all those in captivity.
Jeremiah 15:16 says, "Thus says the Lord: Cease your cries of mourning, 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!
During the time of Jeremiah, Ramah became the staging area where the Babylonians began rounding up the Jews in 587 B.C. The word "Ramah" would be understood in Jeremiah's time, like the "Twin Towers" would be understood in our time.
As the Jewish people were being deported to Babylon, the Mothers and family members could not be consoled as they wailed aloud because their children were deported with no hope of return.
Jeremiah's description of what King Herod would do at Bethlehem would be as terrible as the memory of what happened in Ramah.
The scene at Ramah certainly reminds me what happened to the Jews in Nazi Germany during World War II. This was so terrible that the Nation of Israel was recreated and recognized by the United Nations in May of 1948.
I want to come back to the fourth oracle of Balaam. Enemies of Israel were trying to get the Prophet of God to curse Israel so they could overcome Israel.
Do we not see and understand how secularism today is working to curse the People of God today?
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".
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! (2 Corinthians 6:1-3)