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Friday, December 28, 2001

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Holy Innocents

1 John 1:5—2:2
Psalm 124
Matthew 2:13-18

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christmas: a matter of life over death

"He became furious. He ordered the massacre of all the boys two years old and under in Bethlehem and its environs." —Matthew 2:16

The first Christmas was accompanied by the murder of several baby boys in Bethlehem. This Christmas is accompanied by the daily murder of several thousand baby boys and girls throughout the world. Today, Herod's baby-killings have been exponentially multiplied and extended to the whole world on a daily basis.

As Christ gave resurrection to the slaughtered innocents, so the celebration of Christ's birth this Christmas is an occasion for the resurrection of the dead to life and for victory over the culture of death. Christmas is not ruined by abortion; rather, abortion, euthanasia, contraception, sterilization, and other horrors of the culture of death are in the process of being removed from our society as we celebrate and worship Christ this Christmas.

So in death, let us return to the Life (see Jn 14:6). In darkness, let us turn to the Light (see 1 Jn 1:5). Even in sin, let us repent and give our lives to "Jesus Christ, an Intercessor Who is just. He is an Offering for our sins, and not for our sins only, but for those of the whole world" (1 Jn 2:1-2). There can be comfort and hope for all those like Rachel bewailing our children "since they are no more" (see Mt 2:18). There is resurrection, forgiveness, healing, and hope in Jesus — and only in Jesus. May our celebration of Christ this Christmas be the defeat of death and the gift of life.

Prayer:  Father, this Christmas season save the lives of many children through me.

Promise:  "If we acknowledge our sins, He Who is just can be trusted to forgive our sins and cleanse us from every wrong." —1 Jn 1:9

Praise:  The Holy Innocents, estimated to have numbered between six and twenty-five baby boys, prefigured Jesus in that they were born in Bethlehem and died innocently.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, May 30, 2001

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, June 4, 2001