Feast of the Holy Innocents
1 John 1: 5 – 2:2; Ps 124; Matthew 2: 13 – 18
St. John proclaimed: “Here, then is the message we have heard from Jesus Christ and announce to you: that God is light; in Him there is no darkness.” But we do not see light; we see, perceive things in the light and one of those things we perceive in the light of God is His faithfulness.
St. Stephen, knowing profoundly the faithfulness of God, gave his life to proclaim Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord with his response of faithfulness even to death. St. John, the Beloved Disciple, knowing intimately the faithfulness of God that touched him through Jesus, lived the response of faithfulness to a natural death.
What about the ones we name “The Holy Innocents”? At their age, they could not know, comprehend or respond in any way to the light of God’s faithfulness surrounding their infant lives. I believe what is revealed in their deaths is the utter faithfulness of God. Herod, in his madness of fear, took their lives before they could make any choice, let alone any decision to respond to God. God simply, completely, totally took them to Himself into the light of Eternal Life. It was His desire because they were His from their creation.
The Holy Innocents are a word, an icon of God’s desire to take us to Himself because we, too, are His from our creation. The Holy Innocents are for us a manifestation of the Light that is God, God in His merciful faithfulness.
We are present to and in this Light at this Holy Eucharist; we are graced to see in the Divine Light the passionate desire of God to take us to Himself – the Bread of Life and the Chalice of Salvation. May the faithfulness of God fill us, each one, to be faithful to God even to death.