Opening Prayer from the Liturgy: Father, the Holy Innocents offered you praise by the death they suffered for Christ. May our lives bear witness to the faith we profess with our lips. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
In your Bible: Matthew 2:13-18; The Story of the Holy Innocents
Catechesis: When one considers the slaughter of the children, one cannot but think of todays modern scourge of abortion, euthanasia, capital punishment and assisted suicide. Perhaps this may sound insensitive to our modern ears, but consider the parallels: Herod was paranoid of loosing his throne. He was quite familiar with the prophecy of Numbers 24, I see him, though not now; I behold him, though not near: A star shall advance from Jacob, and a staff shall rise from Israel Edom shall be dispossessed. Herod was an Edomite; and he saw the same sign that the Magi saw. This left him with one choice: to die to self and choose to follow Christ, or to resist to fight for control, to have things his way, to violate the rights of others in an attempt to keep his power. And, for the same reasons, we succumb to these temptations as Herod did. Remember the unborn and those women and men who have been deeply wounded by the curse of abortion, especially today.
Activity: Christmas is a time for children. Perhaps today we can focus upon them once again. Children are a sign of life and hope, of joy and innocence, of true and unconditional love. Spend time with a child or a young person this day. Read to a boy or a girl, play basketball with an adolescent, go to the movies together, or, perhaps, just listen to him or her. The day need not be extravagant. Simply making time to be with them and giving them your attention will make their day quite meaningful.