Tuesday, December 28, 2010
We just celebrated the feast day of the Holy Family. God came to us as an innocent baby and completed a family with mom, dad, and child. Today, 12/28 we celebrate the feast of The Holy Innocents. These are the boy babies two years and under in Bethlehem and the surrounding area whom Kind Herod ordered murdered in an effort to kill Jesus. You can read about it in Matthew2: 16-18.
We don't know the exact day the innocents were slaughtered, but it was within two years of the star appearing to the wise men who visited the infant Jesus and his family. We'll be celebrating the Epiphany (the coming of the three wise men) soon. It's traditionally observed on January 6th, but where I live in the U.S. it's transferred to a Sunday. (I guess they worry we can't get our lazy tails to mass an additional day. Bummer.)
But back to The Innocents- Our priest last Sunday pointed out an important point. Jesus was born with a price on his head.
The Christmas story begins with peril. It's not just a sweet feel-good story. Somebody felt threatened enough to attempt to hunt down Jesus. The Wise Men were compelled to cover for him and not go back to Herod and tell him where the baby was and Joseph had to hide his family in Egypt. Jesus's life began with adventure. The great love of family and a great party with the rejoicing of angels and shepherds, sure, that too, but also danger and adventure and death of innocents. It's something to reflect on.
at New Advent