Today's Scriptural Meditation Readings:
December 28, A.D. 2007
Scripture from today's Liturgy of the Word:
1 John 1:5ó2:2
Psalm 124:2-3, 4-5, 7cd-8
A reflection on today's Scripture:
Herod was not a nice man.
In fact the crimes he committed throughout his reign make the slaughter of the innocent children seem mild. But one thing I find interesting about Herod: for all his crime, terror and violations of Godís laws he still recognized the truth in prophetic scripture which foretold the coming of the Messiah.
However, Herodís killing of the children, in an attempt to destroy the new king and protect his reign and that of his sons, did not change a thing. What Herod did not realize (and frankly neither did anyone else for quite some time) was that Jesusí kingdom has as much or more to do with the spiritual world than with the physical world.
Had Herod lived to see Jesus during His ministry (Herod died shortly after Christís birth) he would have not felt any threat at all. This is evident in the way his son, Herod Antipas, treated the Lord during his trial as Luke tells us he mocked Jesus. Had he lived, Herod may have received some sharp words from the Lord concerning his sins and brutality toward his subjects. But the fact is that Herodís reign would have not been threatened.
So Herodís massacre of the innocent boys did not change a thing. The church has long recognized these Holy Innocents as the first martyrs for Christ, but yet I struggle with why they had to die. Herodís decision to murder innocent people to protect himself shows the futility of sin. Sin never works regardless of the reasons for which we choose to use it. Lying to cover up political wrongdoings, bribing another to buy silence, stealing and killing countless young boys to safeguard a kingdom have never accomplished anything good. Furthermore, sinful actions have an effect on more than just the sinneróothers are usually hurt in some way.
Two thousand years ago God came to earth in His only son, as a naked, poor baby to bridge the gap between our physical, temporal world and the kingdom of God. One of the first responses to this was a horrible sin against innocent children. Sin stands as a barrier to the bridge Jesus built for us to the Almighty. However, His death on the cross gave us the ability to be reconciled to God and to each other and to be forgiven for our sins. It is my hope and prayer that all Christians may be called to reconciliation with the Lord and with each other during this holy time of year.
- Don Claunch, SFO |
Feast of the Holy Innocents, martyrs
Lives of the saints:
Full Scripture text from today's Liturgy of the Word:
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