“Let me say this as clearly as I can: No matter how sharp a grievance or how deep a hurt, there is no justification for killing innocents.” ~ Bill Clinton
That, in and of itself, could be the reflection for the day. Maybe we just need to repeat to ourselves one hundred times, “No matter how sharp a grievance or how deep a hurt, there is no justification for killing innocents.” If only Herod had such a thought.
Instead, Herod, filled with fear about the news that a new-born king was in his territory and with rage at having been deceived by the Magi, decided to act decisively. Herod had been known to treat threats with a horrible finality. He even murdered three of his own sons because of suspected treason. There was much intrigue in his family as well, with brother attempting to poison brother. It is easy to see, given that kind of personality, that death would be the quickest “remedy” for Herod.
Since the Magi did not return to tell him where he might find the so called new-born king, Herod ordered the slaughter of all male children in the area under the age of two. Casting such a wide net, Herod thought, surely the baby would be one of the victims. However, that was not the case. Instead, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph and told him to take his wife and child at once and flee to Egypt. By the time Herod’s soldiers arrived, Jesus, Mary, and Joseph were long gone.
It is a sad and tragic reality that many people and nations still attempt to settle scores and secure power by harming or killing others. A true reverence for life has not been fostered in many people’s hearts and that is evidenced by horrific things happening in our world. St. Pope John Paul II spoke about the culture of death and its firm grip upon our world. Love is the only thing that can break the grip of the culture of death and instill a culture of life.
The death of innocents should never be acceptable. The death of innocents should never even be considered, for that matter. Life is special and precious. We should do all that we can to cherish and respect all life.
Christmas is all about love: the love of God for us, the love of His Son for us, the love that we are to have toward one another. Let Christmas Love reign in your heart and soul today and be an example of love to a world that desperately needs to experience it.
FAITH ACTION: Pray for innocents who are harmed by others and pray that the world may one day embrace a culture of life.