As many of you know, the 12 days between Christmas and the Epiphany (January 8th) are part of our Christmas season. When the secular world thinks Christmas is over, in our Christian world it is just beginning as we celebrate the very early days of the Christ Child and his devoted parents.
While the 25th of December is a feast of celebration with the birth of Jesus, today is a feast of martyrdom. Martyrdom unchosen, martyrdom committed through the sin of another. Today, December 28th, is the Feast of the Holy Innocents. Thousands of male children 2 years old and under were massacred by Herod the ruler of Jerusalem at the time of the birth of the Christ child. The wails of the mothers of these most innocent children could be heard for days.
Herod was a ruthless leader. He was proud, arrogant and selfish. His weakness however was manifested in his fear. Herod slaughtered these innocents for fear of losing his authority. He was fearful of losing his power, losing his riches, losing his place in society, losing his place in the hierarchy of the Roman Empire. He was fearful his legacy would be destroyed and his son would not succeed him. Herod was fearful of a new born baby. Fearful of the The Most Holy Innocence.
It is not any different today. Millions of young men and young women are fearful of their unborn children. Our culture has made them believe they should be afraid of being alienated by friends and family, afraid of being inconvenienced, afraid of the cost of raising this most precious gift, afraid of not being able to care for their own flesh and blood. This fear causes a new massacre, the massacre of innocence caused by abortion. Innocence once again lost due to fear. Martyrdom once again unchosen, martyrdom once again committed through the sin of others.
Fear is one of the greatest catalysts for sin. We are afraid to speak the truth because it may be offensive to those we love, those we admire, those we yearn to be close to the most. We are afraid to speak the truth because sometimes the truth hurts or makes us unpopular. We are afraid to speak up for what is morally correct for fear that we may not be politically correct. When we make decisions based of fear, the results are usually disastrous with horrendous repercussions in our own lives as well as the lives of others.
Worry, anxiety and fear show a lack of trust in God, and nothing is more hurtful to Him than knowing we do not trust Him. These problems are so hurtful to Our Lord, they are considered sinful and should be taken to the confessional. This can be the first important step in a transformative process where we give all of our problems to our Lord and become patient and trustful enough to allow Him to take care of them. While this may not be easy, it is truly the answer to putting ourselves on the path where our fears are displaced by the hope and joy found in the love of Christ!
If only Herod had known, how different things might have been. God Bless you my friends!
Love and Prayers,