Tuesday, December 28, 2010

St. Joseph and the Holy Innocents

Today we celebrate the Feast of the Holy Innocents.  These were the infant children of Bethlehem massacred by King Herod in an attempt to wipe out Christ, whom he perceived as a future rival.  This act ultimately was inspired by the devil.

Under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, three magi are led to a manger to adore the Word made Flesh.   In a real way, they are proclaiming the value of life.  Under the inspiration of the devil, Herod proclaims death.  This situation has remained with us today.  Today's massacre is the outrage of abortion, where millions of innocents have been sacrificed under the direction of the evil one.

Both have the same purpose, the destruction of the innocent.  Many people ponder Satan's conflict and think his battle is only with God.  His battle is against all God has created.  When Herod massacred the innocents, the devil intended to send a shot across the bow to all creation:  there is no length he would not go to in his goal of warring against God.  Anyone who thinks they can be "neutral" is sadly mistaken.  These babies were as "neutral" as could be (most of them infants, lacking the ability to even choose good or evil at this point) and they were slain, partly out of a vain hope that Christ would be amongst the slain, and partly just out of rage by Herod.

Yet we do know that Christ survived.  He survived thanks to St. Joseph.  We know from today's Gospel that Joseph was told by an angel to flee Bethlehem and go into Egypt where he would be safe.  At this point, St. Joseph gave up his entire livelihood and smuggled Mary and Christ out of Israel.  By this very act, he was signing his death warrant.   Even with all the risk, Joseph does all of this without complaint.

Perhaps we should start imploring his aid today.  Just as he protected Christ from the devil, is he not also willing to protect all of us, as he is our patron?

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