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December 28, 2020

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Gospel: Matthew 2:13-18
After the wise men had left, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph and said,
“Get up, take the child and his mother and flee to Egypt, and stay there until I tell you,
for Herod will soon be looking for the child in order to kill him.” Joseph got up,
took the child and his mother, and left that night for Egypt, where he stayed until the death of Herod.

In this way, what the Lord had said through the prophet was fulfilled: I called my son out of Egypt.
When Herod found out that he had been tricked by the wise men, he was furious.
He gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its neighborhood who were two years old or under.
This was done, according to what he had learned from the wise men about the time when the star appeared.
In this way, what the prophet Jeremiah had said was fulfilled: A cry is heard in Ramah,
wailing and loud lamentation: Rachel weeps for her children. She refuses to be comforted, for they are no more.

The greatest irony is that the Prince of Peace, who came to bring life,
was rejected by the very people he came to save! When the Magi tell Herod about the birth of a child destined to be king,
he and all Jerusalem is disturbed and are in fear. No sooner is the child born than his death is sought.
St. Stephen was martyred after he boldly witnessed to the mystery of Christ’s passion, death, and resurrection.
Today’s martyrs, on the other hand, bore witness to the passion of the Christ before it happened.
The Holy Innocents foreshadowed the passion of Christ.
In a way it was easier for Stephen for he knew what he was offering his life for.
It was more unexplainable to the mothers of the holy infants. Meaningless deaths!
Holy Mother Church, like Rachel of Israel, weeps at the deaths of so many innocents,
then and now. Even today, when we hear of meaningless persecution and the deaths of so many innocents,
the Church as mother weeps. Only God can make the blood of holy innocents bear fruit.
For always, “the blood of martyrs is the seed of the Church” (Tertullian)!
Oh God be merciful to your people who suffer persecution today!

© Copyright Bible Diary 2020

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