The Holy Innocents | Tuesday 28 December 2021
Today is Tuesday the 28 December, the Holy Innocents.
Ex Cathedra, directed by Jeffrey Skidmore, sing Versa est in luctum by Alonso Lobo. Versa est in luctum: My harp is tuned for sorrow. ‘Tuning your harp for sorrow’ is a conscious, deliberate preparation for sadness to come. As we mark the Holy Innocents on this day, be attentive to what is going on in your heart as you begin your time of prayer.
Today’s reading is from the Gospel of Matthew.
Now after they had left, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, ‘Get up, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you; for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him.’ Then Joseph got up, took the child and his mother by night, and went to Egypt, and remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfil what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet, ‘Out of Egypt I have called my son.’
When Herod saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, he was infuriated, and he sent and killed all the children in and around Bethlehem who were two years old or under, according to the time that he had learned from the wise men. Then was fulfilled what had been spoken through the prophet Jeremiah:
‘A voice was heard in Ramah,
wailing and loud lamentation,
Rachel weeping for her children;
she refused to be consoled, because they are no more.’
In this passage we are shown the fragility of life, and the fear that those in power have that they might lose that power. After the peace of Christmas, how does this speak to you?
Joseph has already committed himself to Mary and to Jesus. They have already faced judgement, already had to travel away from their home. The angel asks even more of him; puts their lives deeper into his hands. Can you put yourself in his place? Can you imagine how he feels at this threat to his family?
As you listen to the passage again see, that as the family races towards safety, many others will suffer through misuse of power. What are your feelings at this time? Do you see this injustice in the world around you?
In a time of prayer, share your thoughts with the Lord and ask for his guidance.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.