The feast of the Holy Innocents
(Free from moral wrong; without sin; pure: innocent children.)
As an historical event the killing of the innocent children by Herod in order to find and destroy the Christ Child was of minor importance. All through history the innocent have been killed, enslaved, and abused without any recourse to justice. In fact, in this world, justice is an ideal, one that is seldom or in fact never reached. There is something in the world and in the hearts of men and women that go after the innocent, seeking to corrupt it or to make it less than it is. Or if that cannot happen, kill the one who is innocent. This killing is often not physical but happens through the destruction of another’s good name out of envy or spite, or exclusion.
The Christ Child represents all of humanity and the evil and abuses that most of us experience in one way or another, or in many ways. Evil triumphs in the world…for how can the killing of a child, or the injustice suffered each day in this world by untold numbers of men, women and children, how can jkustice ever be reached?
The central point of the Christian path is that Christ Jesus took on our lives, our suffering, and the injustices, as well as our sins, and did not retaliate, but only loved and forgave. Where is justice in mercy? We all need mercy; however, it is not as easy as many would like to think. The one who receives mercy can only receive to the depth that they understand their wrongdoing. Mercy is a searing fire that burns away all pretenses until there is only truth left, and yes, if this truth is embraced, it heals. The mercy of God is the great unmasking leaving nothing uncovered. In that is our hope, for as we are receiving mercy, it is Jesus who stands with us, one with us, bringing us all through the fire into the eternal embrace of our heavenly Father. The Father runs towards us, sweeps us up and welcomes us home.
The Christian path, its mystery, takes a lifetime journey to understand, and perhaps even an eternal one. In the meantime all we can do is live each day as it comes, seeking to be merciful to others and not abusive in any way. The only true justice can come from God, and in that justice there is absolute truth, no one is exempt from that event, when we come face to face with Infinite Mercy as well as Justice.—Br.MD