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Tuesday, December 28, 2021

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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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conformed to christ

Herod “ordered the massacre of all the boys two years old and under in Bethlehem.” —Matthew 2:16

Each baby boy killed that morning over two-thousand years ago in Bethlehem died because he was mistaken for Jesus (Mt 2:13-16). The soldiers who killed the Holy Innocents in Bethlehem thought they were killing Christ, or someone who could be Jesus. To the killers, the children were indistinguishable from Christ.

The child-martyrs we call the Holy Innocents are thus a model for us. We are to bear the light of Christ in our lives to such an extent that Jesus could call us “the light of the world” (Mt 5:14). Our lives are to be so conformed to Jesus that the world, in a sense, might confuse us for Christ (see e.g. 1 Cor 11:1). This makes us a threat to the world as was Jesus, and so we risk being persecuted (see Catechism of the Catholic Church, 530). Yet “blest are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of slander against you because of” Jesus (Mt 5:11).

“I beg you through the mercy of God to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice holy and acceptable to God, your spiritual worship. Do not conform yourselves to this age but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, so that you may judge what is God’s will, what is good, pleasing and perfect” (Rm 12:1-2).

Prayer:  Father, mold and fashion me into the image of Christ.

Promise:  Broken was the snare, and we were freed. Our help is in the name of the Lord, Who made heaven and earth.” —Ps 124:7-8

Praise:  “Precious in the eyes of the Lord is the death of His faithful ones” (Ps 116:15). Let the Holy Innocents inspire you to strive for holiness.

Reference:  (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)
(For a related teaching on Hope and Healing Through Aborted Children, view, download or order our leaflet or listen to, download or order our CD 94-3 or DVD 94 on our website.)

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