Today we celebrate the Feast of the Holy Innocents, remembering those children who were slain at the order of King Herod when He was unable to locate the baby Jesus. St. Matthew relates the story in his gospel::
When the magi had departed, behold,
the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said,
“Rise, take the child and his mother, flee to Egypt,
and stay there until I tell you.
Herod is going to search for the child to destroy him.”
Joseph rose and took the child and his mother by night
and departed for Egypt.
He stayed there until the death of Herod,
that what the Lord had said through the prophet might be fulfilled,
Out of Egypt I called my son.
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 had 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. (Mt 2:13-18)
I couldn’t help but think of all the mothers across the world who are weeping for their children because they are no more. The mothers of Newtown, CT, the mothers of soldiers, the mothers of missing children, the mothers of murdered children, the mothers of children who have overdosed, the mothers of children who have died from disease, or malnutrition, or starvation, the mothers near and the mothers far, those we know and those we don’t…Let us weep with them and pray for them, that God will hold their broken hearts close to his own and bring them peace.
O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee. Anne