Friday, December 28, 2012

Holy Innocents & Unholy Alliances

Today in the Octave (8 Days) of Christmas, we recall the Holy Innocents, the children two-years and younger who were murdered by King Herod in his effort to eliminate the newborn King (Mt. 2:16-18).  The Church honors these children as martyrs - those who lost their lives in this world because of Jesus.

This feast highlights the love and mercy of God - that He invites all to eternal life, with no regard for mental abilities or age! (This was prefigured in the circumcision of Israelites at eight days old, and is witnessed to today in Christianity's practice of baptizing infants.)  Every person is precious to God from the moment they come into existence, and He desires union with them.  That places a pleasurable burden on the shoulders of parents - raising our kids in the practice of the Faith, introducing them into a relationship with God.

Children, loving children as God loves them - that's where my mind is at on today's feast.  I think of the murder of those innocent children at Sandy Hook Elementary.

I of course think of abortion too.  I recently read this quote from Mother Teresa:

"America needs no words from me to see how your decision in Roe v. Wade has deformed a great nation. The so-called right to abortion has pitted mothers against their children and women against men. It has sown violence and discord at the heart of the most intimate human relationships. It has aggravated the derogation of the father's role in an increasingly fatherless society. It has portrayed the greatest of gifts -- a child -- as a competitor, an intrusion, and an inconvenience. It has nominally accorded mothers unfettered dominion over the independent lives of their physically dependent sons and daughters" 

Those words in bold, they remind me of Herod's motivation for wanting to kill Jesus.  Mother Teresa continued:

"And, in granting this unconscionable power, it has exposed many women to unjust and selfish demands from their husbands or other sexual partners. Human rights are not a privilege conferred by government. They are every human being's entitlement by virtue of his humanity. The right to life does not depend, and must not be declared to be contingent, on the pleasure of anyone else, not even a parent or a sovereign."   

The spirit of Herod seems to be flourishing in the United States.  Almost half of the Catholic voters in our nation cast their ballot this past November for a man whose party platform reads "[we] strongly and unequivocally supports Roe v. Wade and a woman’s right to make decisions regarding her pregnancy, including a safe and legal abortion, regardless of ability to pay."  That's right - abortions being paid for with our tax dollars.  The White House has an ongoing love affair with Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion provider in our nation.  It is responsible for the deaths of over 300,000 children every year!  Innocents are being slaughtered right under our noses, and the "People of God" ally themselves with them.

A deep, profound change of heart is what today's feast calls for, and toward that end I invite you to join yourselves to the intercessions made in the Liturgy of the Hours this morning.  They are incredibly powerful:
We rejoice in the glory of Jesus Christ, who conquered the enemy not by force of arms but with a white-robed army of children, and we cry out:
The white-robed army of martyrs praise You.
The Holy Innocents gave witness not by words but by their life’s blood,
give us strength to be your witnesses before men, both by words and actions.
The white-robed army of martyrs praise You.
They were not ready for battle but you made them fit to win the palm of victory,
now that we are prepared for victory, do not let us despair.
– The white-robed army of martyrs praise You.
You washed the robes of the Innocents in your blood;
cleanse us from all sin.
– The white-robed army of martyrs praise You.
You rewarded the child martyrs with the first share in your kingdom,
do not let us be cast out from the unending heavenly banquet.
– The white-robed army of martyrs praise You.
You knew persecution and exile as a child,
protect all children whose lives are in danger from famine, war and disasters.
– The white-robed army of martyrs praise You.


No comments:

Post a Comment