Jesus had us all in mind and heart when he died. From those little ones caught up in Herod's web of slaughter back when Jesus was an infant to the little ones who died this past week. Jesus knew their pain and their perilous end. What's more, he knew each one's name, personally. And the names of their persecutors.

Jesus was born that we might live, regardless of our length of days on the earth, and He would die and rise so that we might be delivered innocently into His arms; He who knows us and loves us most intimately, and whose heart withstood bloodshed and rejection, tears and fears, for our sakes.

This is a God who enters into our broken hearts and unfathomable pain.

To receive Jesus Christ means . . . believing that in the history of humanity, even though it is marked by evil and suffering, the final word belongs to life and to love, because God came to dwell among us, so we might dwell in him. . . .

Stop and look with wonder at the infant Mary brought into the world, wrapped in swaddling clothes and laid in a manger: the infant is God himself who has come among us. Look at Jesus of Nazareth, received by some and scorned by others, despised and rejected: He is the Saviour of all. Adore Christ, our Redeemer, who ransoms us and frees us from sin and death: He is the living God, the source of Life. (John Paul II, Message for the 15th World Youth Day, 1999)

May we hold on tightly to this Holy Babe who taught us how lean into him under the weight of our own crosses. May the wood of the manger teach us about the wood of the cross.