Feast of the Holy Innocents, martyrs
If we didn’t have hot, we would not have cold. If we didn’t have sweet, we would not have sour. If it weren’t for joy, we would have no tears. Without sin, there is no virtue. It is this opposition we face even as we look in a mirror. Look, we must. Who dares to deny evil exists? We don’t wish for it, but can turn evil against itself.
Even the devil has a hand in scripture – beheadings, genocide, death sentences, and persecutions of untold thousands. As horrific events flash into our lives, we are psalmists who cry out to God. If the whole world would cry out together, The Lord is my refuge and my fortress, my God in whom I trust.
The devil would become inconsequential.
Terrible events turn into something positive; otherwise, evil wins.
We remember the Holy Innocents today; we must die with them and all who die by violence. In death, we find life. Let the cruelty kill us so we wake up and become alive, become renewed, and bring some peace to this world.
Just as Jesus became human, suffered, and died only to rise from death and then ascend, we follow the same model. In our sufferings, we die to enter a new life and tame the world’s suffering.
Regardless of our measurement on the piety scale, a death of self implies, as Father Eymard notes, a denial of the egotistical self. This is not an easy walk to some vanishing point. But we must continue walking. Do it for the Innocents.
Lord Jesus, have mercy on us.