Today is the Feast of the Holy Innocents. It commemorates this little neglected part of the Christmas narrative:
“Then Herod, when he saw that he was deceived by the wise men, was exceedingly angry; and he sent forth and put to death all the male children who were in Bethlehem and in all its districts, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had determined from the wise men. Then was fulfilled what was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet, saying:
“A voice was heard in Ramah,Refusing to be comforted,
Lamentation, weeping, and great mourning,
Rachel weeping for her children,
Because they are no more.””
This is also referenced in another part of the birth narratives, found in the Apocalypse of John. Find these on a Christmas card.
In our age, where we still see children abused and killed, used as pawns for narcissistic adults, and happy to make it to birth in the first place, it’s worth remembering what God’s love was meant to stop, and why Christ was needed in the first place.
Hat tip to Mark Shea for the Revelation reference.