He ordered the massacre


Luke and Matthew narrate their respective versions of the Infancy Narrative. Compared to Luke’s version, which is characterized by a joyous tone, the Matthean Infancy Narrative tells of the struggles of the Holy Family and of all those who are related to them, like the innocents of Bethlehem who became martyrs.
Today, we celebrate the Feast of the Holy Innocents. The Gospel narrates the flight of Joseph, together with Mary and the infant Jesus, to Egypt. It also narrates the massacre of the male children upon Herod’s command, realizing that he has been outsmarted by the Magi. Matthew’s story shows that struggles are real, but it also asserts that God is always bigger than any struggle in life. We are called to hold on to God’s grace. Relying upon God’s goodness and on the holy innocence within us, we are challenged to cooperate with God’s divine plan. Do we have present struggles in life that seem to be insurmountable? How do we allow the holy innocence in us to grow? Do we trust in the divine plan and cooperate with it?

Gospel • MATTHEW 2:13-18

When the magi had departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Rise, take the child and his mother, flee to Egypt, and stay there until I tell you. Herod is going to search for the child to destroy him.” Joseph rose and took the child and his mother by night and departed for Egypt. He stayed there until the death of Herod, that what the Lord had said through the prophet might be fulfilled, Out of Egypt I called my son. When Herod realized that he had been deceived by the magi, he became furious. He ordered the massacre of all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had ascertained from the magi. Then was fulfilled what had been said through Jeremiah the prophet: A voice was heard in Ramah, sobbing and loud lamentation; Rachel weeping for her children, and she would not be consoled, since they were no more.

Source: “365 Days with the Lord 2022,” St. Paul's, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 632-895-9701; Fax 632-895-7328; E-mail: publishing@stpauls.ph; Website: http://www.stpauls.ph.