Today the Church celebrates the feast of the Holy Innocents, whose death was ordered by Herod. When Herod “realized that he had been deceived by the magi…[h]e ordered the massacre of all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had ascertained from the magi” (Mt. 2: 13-18). Imagine the terror that came over Bethlehem, the mothers desperately trying to save their children to no avail. Having been warned in a dream to “flee to Egypt, and stay there until I tell you,” (Mt. 2: 13-18), Joseph flees with Mary and Jesus during the night to escape Herod’s wrath. Imagine Mary’s sorrow, as those young mothers whose babies were snatched from their arms were probably friends of Mary, young women with whom she grew up in the streets of Bethlehem. Also imagine the holy family fleeing during the night and the hardships of that journey into Egypt and becoming refugees in a foreign land.The slaughter of innocents continues to this very day. Little children sold into the sex slave and the labor force; children fleeing with their parents away from war-infected cities, trying to escape rebels shelling their homes and “playgrounds,” children hiding in closets while their parents scream at each other or threaten to harm one another, children whose living rooms have become places where drugs are exchanged and a child’s play is silenced!
Yes, to this very day “A voice…[is] heard in Ramah [in Chicago, San Francisco, New York, Connecticut, Colorado, Texas, and so many other U.S. cities and cities throughout the world], sobbing and loud lamentation; Rachel (insert the name of a woman you know] [is] weeping for her children and she would not be consoled, since they…[are]no more” (Mt. 2: 13-18).
Who will deliver us from this insanity? Jesus, the Son of God, disguised to our human eyes in the body of an infant will sacrifice his life on the cross so that we will, in truth, overcome the evil that seems to have taken hold of the world of today just as it had in the days of Herod! “Take courage,” Jesus tells us in Jn 16:33, I have overcome the world.”