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Monday, December 28, 2020

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Holy Innocents

1 John 1:5––2:2
Psalm 124:2-5, 7-8
Matthew 2:13-18

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innocence of the innocents

“A cry was heard in Ramah, sobbing and loud lamentation: Rachel bewailing her children; no comfort for her, since they are no more.” ––Matthew 2:18

As I sit writing, a glorious spring day beckons from outside my window. Earlier, a cardinal pierced the sun-drenched day with his distinctive song. New life is in the air. This scene contrasts starkly with today’s winter feast day honoring the Holy Innocents. We just celebrated the glorious Nativity.  God became man in the Incarnation (Jn 1:14). Now jolted by cruelty and suffering perpetrated against baby boys, despair may be our natural response. King Herod’s barbarism and self-centeredness rightly appall us (see Mt 2:16).

Although difficult to understand, God intends to bring out of this tragedy a greater good. In His infinite wisdom, all will receive their just recompense. Jesus never promised anyone a life free from sorrow. On the contrary, He promised persecution; but for the righteously persecuted “the reign of God is theirs” (Mt 5:10).

What will be our anchor throughout the sorrow? Lean on the Lord! “I tell you all this that in Me you may find peace. You will suffer in the world. But take courage! I have overcome the world” (Jn 16:33).

Do we accept God’s divine will, even when our humanity can’t see the wisdom? And how do we tap into these promises of Jesus? Holy Mother Church provides the structure for us. Practice your faith; receive the sacraments. “Fear is useless. What is needed is trust” (Mk 5:36).

Prayer:  Father, help me live my faith vigorously during the remaining days of the Christmas season.

Promise:  “Here, then, is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you: that God is light; in Him there is no darkness.” ––1 Jn 1:5

Praise:  The Church has honored the Holy Innocents as martyrs since antiquity.

Reference:  (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)

Rescript:  "In accord with the Code of Canon Law, I hereby grant the Nihil Obstat for One Bread, One Body covering the period from December 1, 2020 through January 31, 2021. Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General, Archdiocese of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio January 14, 2020"

The Nihil Obstat ("Permission to Publish") is a declaration that a book or pamphlet is considered to be free of doctrinal or moral error. It is not implied that those who have granted the Nihil Obstat agree with the contents, opinions, or statements expressed.