Feast of the Holy Innocents, martyrs
December 28, 2019
Today, in Mercy, John tells us a hard truth:
If we say, “We are without sin,”
we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
As I read the Gospel account of the slaughter of the Holy Innocents, John’s words pummel me, as do the images we view routinely on the evening news:
- toddlers caged on the US-Mexico border
- infants lying dead on Syrian and Kurdish hillsides
- kindergarteners bulleted by AK47s
- youngsters trafficked to the rich and powerful
- children of color victimized by prejudice
- acolytes defiled by their priests
- students lunch-shamed for their poverty
- kids bullied for their differences
- hungry babies cut from assistance to fund military excess
In today’s world, so bereft of social justice and moral policy, we don’t have to read the Gospel to find the Holy Innocents. They are staring us, teary-eyed, right in our faces!
This morning’s is an uncomfortable prayer! What can I do to be sinless in the face of such injustice? What is morally required of me to shed complicity in these outrages?
Like many of you, I feel helpless and overwhelmed at times, just as Herod’s populace must have felt.
But then I remember that I do not live under a “Herod”, unless I passively allow myself to. I can advocate, protest, contribute and most of all VOTE. I can do everything in my power to assure that a moral and rational leadership holds the right to stand for me and for my responsibilities to my sisters and brothers.
Yes, today in our prayer, we may weep like Rachel. But then, let us finish weeping. Let us seek the ways that we can repent any complicit sinfulness. Let us acknowledge and repudiate the normalized culture of war and domination which we have accepted. Let us inform ourselves and act clearly and consistently for merciful justice – for innocent life in all its stages!
Music: Save the Children – Marvin Gaye