Thursday 28 December 2023

About Today Readings

Holy Innocents

1 John 1:5 – 2:2. Our soul has escaped like a bird from the hunter’s nest – Psalm 123(124):2–5, 7–8. Matthew 2:13–18.

Pray for our children

A voice was heard in Ramah,
sobbing and loudly lamenting:
it was Rachel weeping for her children,
refusing to be comforted because they were no more.

Real world events have thrust today’s Feast of the Holy Innocents into sharp focus. Too many innocent children have been hurt by humanitarian disasters. These disasters may have been a result of natural phenomenon – floods, fire, earthquake ­– as well as economic hardship or conflict and war. At the time of putting these reflections together for Madonna, the Middle East is again a powder keg of violence, fear, anger and retribution. At this point in time it is impossible to predict the outcome – continued horrific violence localised to a small area, conflict spreading to other countries, or somehow leaders stepping back from the brink and working for peace. However, we remember that Herod’s slaughter of the innocents and the flight of the Holy Family to Egypt is part of the Christmas story, a story in which hope overcomes despair. We hope and pray for the world’s children.

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