Feast of the Holy Innocents, martyrs – Year C

Feast of the Holy Innocents, martyrs

Today’s Audio Mass Readings – Lectionary: 698

1st Reading – 1 JN 1:5—2:2

Beloved:
This is the message that we have heard from Jesus Christ
and proclaim to you:
God is light, and in him there is no darkness at all.
If we say, “We have fellowship with him,”
while we continue to walk in darkness,
we lie and do not act in truth.
But if we walk in the light as he is in the light,
then we have fellowship with one another,
and the Blood of his Son Jesus cleanses us from all sin.
If we say, “We are without sin,”
we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
If we acknowledge our sins, he is faithful and just
and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from every wrongdoing.
If we say, “We have not sinned,” we make him a liar,
and his word is not in us.

My children, I am writing this to you
so that you may not commit sin.
But if anyone does sin, we have an Advocate with the Father,
Jesus Christ the righteous one.
He is expiation for our sins,
and not for our sins only but for those of the whole world.

Responsorial Psalm – PS 124:2-3, 4-5, 7CD-8

R. (7) Our soul has been rescued like a bird from the fowler’s snare.
Had not the LORD been with us—
When men rose up against us,
then would they have swallowed us alive,
When their fury was inflamed against us.
R. Our soul has been rescued like a bird from the fowler’s snare.
Then would the waters have overwhelmed us;
The torrent would have swept over us;
over us then would have swept the raging waters.
R. Our soul has been rescued like a bird from the fowler’s snare.
Broken was the snare,
and we were freed.
Our help is in the name of the LORD,
who made heaven and earth.
R. Our soul has been rescued like a bird from the fowler’s snare.

Alleluia – See Te Deum

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
We praise you, O God,
we acclaim you as Lord;
the white-robed army of martyrs praise you.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – MT 2:13-18

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.

Catholic Daily Reflections

Catholic Audio Gospel Reflections

Feast of the Holy Innocents, Martyrs

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. Matthew 2:16

Today on the fourth day of the Octave of Christmas, we are given a similar witness to the one we received on December 26, the Feast of the Martyrdom of St. Stephen. But today’s feast presents the same evil in a different and even more tragic light. Here, out of envy and hatred, Herod had countless innocent children killed in an attempt to eliminate Jesus, the newborn King.

We can only imagine the grief that would have filled the town of Bethlehem and its vicinity as the soldiers went through killing those innocent children as their parents watched helplessly. On one hand, it’s shocking to know that God permitted this. On the other hand, on a level of deep faith, we must strive to understand the witness that these innocent children gave.

Though this was an unspeakable crime and evil, from the perspective of eternity, it will be sorted out by God. In Heaven and forevermore, these innocent victims will wear the martyr’s crown and will be honored by the angels and saints as the first witnesses to the newborn King. Though this may not have eased the pain at the time, it will certainly transform the pain those families felt as they enter into the justice of Heaven.

Their witness reveals to us much about our own lives. It reveals that there are many times in life when things are simply not fair and not just. The massacre of these innocent children is a powerful reminder of this fact. But one thing we must hold on to is that God will right every wrong in the end. Today, we celebrate a solemn feast in the honor of these children as a way of saying that God has transformed this tragedy into something glorious.

The same is true with each one of us. Whatever your “tragedy” may be, know that the Son of God entered our world, taking on our fallen human nature, so that He could make all things right.

Reflect, today, upon that which is most painful for you this Christmas season. Whatever it may be, you are invited to unite your hurt and pain today with the sorrow of the families who lost these little ones. Let God do for you what He ultimately did for all of them. Let His Incarnation, death and Resurrection transform your hurt into a crown of martyrdom. In the end, the Lord will be victorious in your life if you let Him.

Lord, I surrender all hurt, pain and confusion to You. I unite myself, this day, with the sorrow of those who lost these little children and I trust that their lives, as they reign now in Heaven with You, are a sign for me of things to come. Your birth into our world was the greatest sign that You are our Savior and that You can turn all things into good. Jesus, I entrust my life to You and know that You will right every wrong. Jesus, I trust in You.

Our Audio Catholic Daily Readings are sourced from USCCB and the Daily Reflections are adapted from My Catholic Life

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About Laban Thua 1019 Articles
I am a Commissioned Liturgy Minister and also a Lector at Assumption of Mary Catholic Church. Am also a Commissioned Catholic Men Association (CMA), Member and a Lover of the Catholic Church and its teachings. My passion is disseminating the Catholic Daily Readings and Reflections, Bible Verse of the Day, Catholic Quote of the Day and Catholic Saint of the Day Information every day to all Catholic Faithfuls throughout the world.