Friday, December 28, 2007

The Holy Innocents


Herod's murder of the male infants in Bethlehem is one of the saddest parts of Matthew's Infancy Narrative. Matthew spares is a description of the slaughter and simply uses a text from the prophet Jeremiah to recall the sobbing that surely took place.
"A voice was heard in Ramsh, sobbing and loud lamentation; Rachel weeping for her children, and she would not be consoled, since they were no more."
Bethlehem was a small town and the estimated number of boys two years old and under would have been about 20. Herod's massacre is not recorded in historical documents, but the relatively small number makes the story all the more plausible.
Mary and Joseph would have known the families of these children. One can only guess at their feelings when they later heard about this.
The feast of the Holy Innocents is celebrated today.
Excerpt from The Little Blue Book
www.saginaw.org
H/T: A Nawty Mouser Thots


It is impossible for Herod's henchmen to recognize with absolute certainty, among all the babies of Bethlehem and its vicinity, just which infant boy is Jesus Christ. Thus, seething with diabolical fury, Herod orders the massacre of all who resemble Jesus in gender and approximate age. This barbaric case of "mistaken identify" becomes the source of incomparable exaltation for the Holy Innocents. For there is no greater glory than for a person to be mistaken for Christ himself. Perhaps the Lord had this in mind later in life when he declares that only those who change and become like little children can enter the kingdom of God. In our childlikeness, we are most like Jesus Christ. The blood of the Son Jesus that cleanses us from all sin beings to reach us and transforms us today in a powerful way through the blood of the martyred Holy Innocents.
From the Magnificat: Christmas Issue 07
H/T: Catholic Mom in Hawaii

7 comments:

ANawtyMouser said...

I love my Little Blue Book, it's such a wealth of information! Thanks for sharing this sad but informative story. Carol

Esther said...

Thanks for visiting my blog.

ANawtyMouser said...

Ester, and thank you for visiting my blog! I like your pictures. They are very colorful!

Soutenus said...

Thank you for your kind comments and the visits. I have found this Catholic blogger community to be such a wealth of learning for my family and me. We check in on your blogs from school, too. God bless and keep posting.

Soutenus said...

Today my family and I talked about this event in history. I know it always bothered me greatly as a child. I used to think - why would God let this happen? I wish (back then)I had been able to understand what this this quote is telling us: "This barbaric case of "mistaken identify" becomes the source of incomparable exaltation for the Holy Innocents. For there is no greater glory than for a person to be mistaken for Christ himself."

ANawtyMouser said...

We have a large family bible that, as a child, would fascinate me with the pictures displaying the order of the Mass and different parts of the Bible. The one of the slaughter of the young always sadly captivated me. If I can I will try to scan what they had as a picture and post it. It is very chilling…

Soutenus said...

I very carelessly omitted sources on these 2 posts. Sorry and it has been fixed. Blessings!

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