Saturday, December 28, 2013

Feast of the Holy Innocents, martyrs

St. Stephen's day, St. John's day, now the Feast of the Holy Innocents, martyrs. We live in an age of Christian martyrdom, let us not forget our persecuted brothers and sisters and let us not hesitate to pray to the martyrs for their intercession before the Father of lights.

Today traditionally, again, meaning not much these days, when our forgetfulness seems to be almost universally acknowledged as the virtue of all virtues, was a day for altar servers, assistants, acolytes.

Our first reading for today is not from the Hebrew Scriptures, but from the New Testament, 1 John 1:5-2:2, to be exact. We are reminded of our need for a Savior:
If we say, “We are without sin,” we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we acknowledge our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from every wrongdoing. If we say, “We have not sinned,” we make him a liar, and his word is not in us

The slaughter of innocents to no less appalling now than in the days we call to mind:

A voice was heard in Ramah,
sobbing and loud lamentation;
Rachel weeping for her children,
and she would not be consoled,
since they were no more.

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