Skip to comments.King Herod Revisited
Posted on 12/28/2007 10:28:29 PM PST by Coleus
The Church gives us this disturbing feast of the martyrdom of the innocent children of Bethlehem and its surrounding region, only three days after Christmas. Pro-lifers naturally connect the feast day with the modern-day massacre of the pre-born innocents. One aspect of the account that is seldom mentioned in modern parallels, however, is the selective nature of the killing. Out of fear of a rival king, Herod ordered the deaths of baby boys just as in earlier times Pharaoh told the midwives to kill all Hebrew sons at birth to ensure their continued enslavement in Egypt.
The pagan Roman writer Macrobius says that Caesar Augustus, on receiving news of the massacre of boys under the age of two and the killing of Herods own son, exclaimed Id rather be Herods sow than Herods son. History records that Herod the Great did not spare his own family in the many murders he ordered. Three of his sons were executed, and the last one, Antipater, was killed only after his father received permission to do so from the emperor Augustus shortly before the birth of Christ. The most horrifying fact in abortion is that the baby is condemned to death by his or her own parents. When the Bible seeks to express the infinite love of God for us, it uses the analogy of a mothers tender love. What culture can survive when children are not protected by their own parents?
Today, thanks to prenatal testing and ultrasounds, parents often discover the sex of the child they are expecting. Worldwide this has led to the phenomenon experts refer to as sex-selection abortion. Since the 1970s a significant component within the larger abortion holocaust is the over 50 million girls missing at birth in China, a further 10 million in India, and huge numbers more from other nations on all continents. How strange it is that precisely in the decades since the rise of radical feminism, our contemporary Herods eliminate girls rather than boys. Feminists do not shrink from criminal hypocrisy when they strive to block resolutions at the United Nations condemning sex-selection abortion!
History shows that the mighty and the educated are generally those behind great crimes. People who seek to dismiss the horror of sex-selection abortion do not realize that it is a growing trend and mistakenly believe it only happens among the uneducated. They are then confounded by the evidence that birthrates are most skewed in favor of boys in the richest provinces of India and China and among the most literate and educated classes. Even several nations in Europe are implicated in the killing of baby girls.
Vox in Rama audita est: ploratus et ululatus multus; Rachel plorans filios suos, et noluit consolari, quia non sunt. A voice was heard in Rama, weeping and loud lamentation; Rachel weeping for her children, and she would not be comforted, because they are no more. (Mt 2:18) Because they are no more follows immediately upon the slaughter of the Innocents in the Gospel of Matthew and reflects the immense grief the death of a baby causes. They were the inspiration for Project Rachel, the life-transforming apostolate of post-abortion healing that started in the USA and spread worldwide. The Divine Mercy of God experienced in this ministry offers the hope post-abortive mothers need to find peace and the courage to be Silent No More.
To overcome the grief of losing a child we must follow the Way, the Truth and the Life. The tyrants wrath was impotent against the Christ Child and ultimately even against his infant victims who were taken up to Heaven. Despite the reign of modern Herods and the current massacre of innocents, we are sustained in our faith, hope and love during this Christmas season as we pray for the rapid return of Christ the King.
Interesting writing, but frankly, there are many, many pro-lifers in America and in The Church who not only don't observe this feast, but who don't even know or care. I'm one of them, pretty much.
You would never know this if you read the politically correct de-gendered "New Revised Standard Version" translation of the Bible, published by the National Council of Churches No One Goes To Any More and prescribed for use in liberal Protestant mainline churches. It intentionally mistranslates the Massacre of the Innocents to say that all the children were killed, both male and female:
"When Herod saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, he was infuriated, and he sent and killed all the children in and around Bethlehem who were two years old or under, according to the time that he had learned from the wise men." Matthew 2:16 (NRSV)
Just one of numerous errors in this translation, all to be sensitive and inclusive and make sure that womyn are treated equally.
Right at the birth of the Savior of the world is a dreadful, searing manifestation of his coming "to bring a sword". If one believes, as I do, in a "personal" Satan, rather than some vague aggregate of evil tendencies, one can see in this the wild and venomous thrashing a a snake who knows his back is about to be broken.
If one goes with the "bad stuff happens - bummer!" theory of evil, one still is given the challenge of contemplating, on the one hand, the sneaking into the world under cover of infancy of the Lord of Lords, and on the other, the possibility of hearts so fouled and trammeled with sin that Herod could actually find people to carry out his orders. Was there not one soldier who threw down his sword and said,"You want 'em dead? YOU kill 'em! I want no part of it!"
Were there first born sons among the Innocents of Bethlehem? Did they ransom the life of Him who came to ransom theirs?
How will the pain of the aching breasts of their mothers and the broken hearts ever be assuaged? How great must the Joy Christ brings be to be able to make up for that eviscerating grief!
If there is no remission of sins unless blood is shed, how many and vile must the sins of Palestine be, since for so many ages the land there has been fouled with blood?
The day after Christmas, Some Christians celebrate what is probably the older holiday of the martyrdom of Stephen. And three days after Christmas, the problem to which Christmas is the answer is posed in unforgettable terms. It is not an insignificant celebration.
I care about the events and principles involved. I just don't care much at all, whether or not some earthly religious leader declared a feast day about it.
I also don't care at all for the ignorant and arrogant use of "The Church" to describe exclusively the Roman Catholic construct. Since Jesus died for all of His Church, I sincerely doubt he cares for such judgments by mere men, either.
Okay, I feel the love. Thanks for clarifying.
More of the love is expressed in Matthew 23. Blessings.
For example, you could read the part of our Catechism to find out what we think the Church is and THEN call us ignorant and arrogant and suggest that we are Pharisees.
Maybe it's just me but when somebody expresses strong disapproval of something I am not doing or believing it...., well, "ignorant and arrogant" has a fine ring to it.
Not calling you (or “you people”) anything, MD.
I’m calling bad behavior bad behavior, as it shows up.
It really is ignorant to miss out to ignore the existence of someone who is redeemed by the Lord, when that person is in one’s midst. Multiply by the numbers, as the numbers of those unrecognized members of The Church are ignored.
It really is arrogant to say, once noticing such a Christian, to say, “Whatever God says about you, I say you are not in His Church.”
It really is ignorant to miss out to ignore the existence of someone who is redeemed by the Lord, when that person is in ones midst. Multiply by the numbers, as the numbers of those unrecognized members of The Church are ignored.does not describe the teaching of the Catholic Church.
It really is arrogant to say, once noticing such a Christian, to say, Whatever God says about you, I say you are not in His Church.
Further, just academically, suppose we DID teach that, and suppose were were right to question that God said what you seem to say He says. Then we wouldn't be arrogant, we'd be giving a needed warning. That is it presupposes a slam-dunk that (a) we teach what we don't teach and (b) that we are wrong (as we are, evidently, whatever we in fact teach) to teach that thing.
I have the good fortune (once offered, afflictions become graces) to be pronouncedly red-green colorblind. This meant that until I was first tested when I was 13 or so, people called me unobservant and lazy, and laughed at my color choices and things of that kind. (You haven't lived until a green van approaches you in your rear view mirror and an orange van pulls up beside you and passes, and you're going, where'd the GREEN one go?) I'd suggest that not everyone who was concerned about my apparent unobservantitudinicity was ignorant AND arrogant. I would say that they were mistaken, and that had I NOT been colorblind, they would have good grounds for their concern.
You seem to want to think I’m fighting against Catholics about their convictions or legitimacy, or something.
Once again, I am addressing those kinds of instances I said I was addressing.
If someone believes that “the church” really does mean all of Jesus’ believers as He sees them in this world, that is how they should use the term and not use it in a contradictory fashion.
Color blindness cannot be helped, thanks for relating your example.
Failure to understand the Word and Spirit of God can be helped, when He is clear about a matter.
And BTW, there have been plenty of times that I’ve been ignorant and the same with being arrogant. It isn’t the end of the world, thank God. At those times, I hope I apologize, learn my lesson, incorporate more of the Way, Truth, and Life and move onward.
If it matters, the article was written by a Catholic Priest for the publication of a Catholic pro-life organization. I knew that he was Catholic by his use of the Vulgate version of "Rachel weeping for her children". When we filthy Papists say things like "the Church" we DO use it equivocally, sometimes meaning the Roman Catholic Church, sometimes meaning the entire Catholic Church, and sometimes meaning all the Baptized. Since this is an article in what amounts to an in-house publication I think the writer can be forgiven less than perfect theological precision
Lots of suggestions to read Matt 23 as well?
And I’m pretty sensitive when it comes to institutional, um, (words coming to mind: arrogance, abuse, encroachment, calcification, line-blurring, tyranny)... I’ll say institutional-think, when it interferes with God-think.
Whether it’s about Baptists bringing up gossip in congregational meetings or Catholics’ 2000? (I’d say, maybe 1700 year) collections of its tradition-ality.
We try to add so much to the Gospel, admonitions of the Word, and basic, wise principles of polity, etc.
God is very jealous for us. He doesn’t like it at all, when someone eclipses the direct light He sheds, in whatever way, or when people muddy up the waters that flow from under the throne.
Well, sorry for being to blunt/jarring/harsh/terse/unkind, if that's the way I've related myself.
Here's the gist: "Christ in me, the hope of glory." I really, really wish people would understand how simple and thorough! the Life really, really is.
But I guess I'd say that even St. Paul doesn't think it's THAT simple, where the rubber meets the road. I think the Biblical witness is that there was a church with a fluid and evolving structure and a clear need for lines of authority by the time the so-called Pastoral Epistles were written.
Of course that leaves lots of room for disagreement about whether we filthy Papists are the answer to that problem. But I think there were lots of people saying "Christ in you the hope of glory" who followed it up with, "So let's knock the lampstand over and parTAY!" or, in the alternative, "So, let's starve ourselves to death while abstaining from everything that might run the risk of being pleasant," and lots of variations in between.
And, as is mentioned probably every 30 seconds on some religious thread on FR, Paul and Peter disagreed about the gentiles, and poor peter seemed to disagree with himself about them for a while there -- so SOME authoritative decision was crying out to be made.
And, y'see, while for you what you say is just meant to bring us all to our senses, for US, phrases like "some earthly religious leader" and "Roman Catholic construct" are close to "fighting words", in the sense that they presuppose the resolution to a question about which there are a number of opinions, and over which, to the shame of all of us, blood has been shed.
This being so, just saying firmly ONE of the answers to the question cannot reasonably be hoped to lower the ambient temperature, IMHO.