28 December 2017
Today, being three days after Christmas, we celebrate the feast of the Holy Innocents. Herod, tricked by the wise men, went on a rampage and killed all the boys under 2 years of age. Such was his desire to eliminate the new born “king of the Jews.” Historians speculate that we are speaking of probably 20 to 30 young baby boys. The wounds were deep and prolonged for those mothers and fathers.
What exactly are we celebrating here? The martyrdom of the children it seems. The opening prayer for the Mass goes like this:
O God, whom the Holy Innocents confessed and proclaimed on this day, not by speaking but by dying, grant, we pray, that the faith in you which we confess with our lips may also speak through our manner of life.
It does sound a little strange, I admit, but let’s remember that the Church recognizes one baptism, but three forms of it:
Baptism by water,
Baptism by desire,
Baptism by blood.
Most of us have received the first – probably as children. But there may be some of you reading this, who are not yet baptised, yet strongly desire it. If you were to die before receiving baptism by water, then the Lord would recognise you as baptised. Then there are those who, like the children of Bethlehem, have been baptised in blood on account of Jesus.
This brings me to a difficult, yet relevant truth. All those little babies that have died because of abortion have been baptised in blood. They are assuredly in the bosom of the Father.
Might you not whisper this truth in the heart of those men and women who seek forgiveness and healing because they have participated in abortion?
All is not lost. Despite the wounds, God – and only God – is able to bring an abundance of good out of evil. This is what we call Divine Mercy.
What was lost – is found.
What was dead – is raised.