Reflection by Meggie K. Daly
Today’s Gospel: Matthew 2:13-18 – Holy Innocents
Today is the Feast of the Holy Innocents. Archeologists speculate that around two dozen male babies were slain in Bethlehem in the first century by order of Herod. These children, too young to consent to martyrdom or to understand God’s salvific plan, were the first to shed their blood for Christ.
A furious and power-hungry Herod feared the loss of power to the newborn king sought by the Magi, who returned home without reporting the child’s whereabouts back to Herod. Herod’s grim and ruthless order to kill all male children, age two and under, is consistent with the character of the man who murdered his sons in a power grab.
As a mother and grandmother, the horror of the mothers and families of these slain innocents seems almost beyond comprehension. I wonder about the soldiers who carried out Herod’s orders. How did the soldiers feel? Some surely must have felt horrified. Their complicity was driven by the fear of unemployment, imprisonment, or even death if they refused Herod’s command. In stark contrast to the soldiers, Joseph obediently responds to the promptings of an angel in a dream to flee immediately to Egypt to protect the child, Jesus.
This Gospel leads me to contemplate abortion and euthanasia legislation in our world today. Many people do not vote against abortion or euthanasia laws even though they believe these activities are morally wrong. Why? Because they don’t want to impose their beliefs on others. Taking an unpopular stand, even in the privacy of the ballot box, takes courage and a fearless ethical and moral inventory. May we not be complicit in the horrors of our world that we have some voice in, no matter how small.
Can I speak the truth in love and kindness when prompted by my conscience?
Holy Spirit, increase my wisdom and courage; tune my small voice to Your voice.
Copyright 2019 Meggie K. Daly
Meggie K. Daly is the author of Bead by Bead: The Scriptural Rosary. She is the mother of six adult children and five grandchildren. She is a retired research scientist. Meggie occasionally blogs at meggieKdaly.blogspot.com and is working on her second book.
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