Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Holy Innocents

Depending on where in the world you live, yesterday, today, or tomorrow is the Commemoration of the Holy Innocents, the day we remember the infant boys of Bethlehem killed on the orders of Herod the Great.

Luke brings together the testimony of Mary’s relatives, Joseph’s family, and the shepherds to demonstrate that the people of Bethlehem, who were fiercely proud of their historical connection to King David, embraced Jesus’ family. Matthew tells us the price they paid when that family came to Herod’s attention, and the entire town refused to bring forward any information as to their flight to Egypt.

This is the story of a community of resistance. Some doubt its historicity, consider it propaganda. But it is reliably historical – and, indeed, has been so, repeated many times over.

On these of all days, we remember before God all children caught up in conflict, and cry, how long, O Lord?

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