12.28.13 ~ Feast of the Holy Innocents


1 Jn 1:5 – 2:2

… God is light, and no darkness can find any place in him; if we claim fellowship with him, when all the while we live and move in darkness, it is a lie; our whole life is an untruth. God dwells in light; if we too live and move in light, there is fellowship between us, and the blood of his Son Jesus Christ washes us clean from all sin. Sin is with us; if we deny that, we are cheating ourselves; it means that truth does not dwell in us. No, it is when we confess our sins that he forgives us our sins, ever true to his word, ever dealing right with us, and all our wrong-doing is purged away. If we deny that we have sinned, it means that we are treating him as a liar; it means that his word does not dwell in our hearts. Little children, the purpose of this letter is to keep you clear of sin. Meanwhile, if any of us does fall into sin, we have an advocate to plead our cause before the Father in the Just One, Jesus Christ. He, in his own person, is the atonement made for our sins, and not only for ours, but for the sins of the whole world.

Mt 2:17 – 18

It was then that the word spoken by the prophet Jeremy was fulfilled:

A voice was heard in Rama,
lamentation and great mourning;
it was Rachel weeping for her children,
and she would not be comforted,
because none is left.

In Conversation with God:

There is no easy explanation for suffering, least of all for the suffering of the innocent…

We know that in everything God works for good with those who love him, including everything that seems to us piercingly inexplicable or incomprehensible…

It is difficult for us to see the tiny piece of reality that is here in front of us… There is anguish for us… in thinking of the slain babies… For the babies, the agony was soon over; in the next world they would know whom they came to save and for all eternity would have that glory. For the parents, the pain would have lasted longer; but at death they… must have found that there was a special sense in which God was in their debt, as he had never been indebted to any. The and their children were the only ones who ever agonized in order to save God’s life… 

… Jesus proclaimed as blessed… those who mourn… those who in this life carry a heavier cross: illness, handicap, physical pain, poverty, slander, injustice… Faith transforms the meaning of suffering. In union with Christ’s suffering it is changed into a sign of God’s love, into something very valuable and fruitful…

The Cross, pain and suffering, are the means which Our Lord used to redeem us. He could have used other means, but he chose to redeem us precisely by the Cross…

Our Lord does not change the laws of creation for his own benefit… He had the power to do away with suffering, but he never used that power for himself. Although he worked miracles to feed the crowds, he himself suffered hunger. He shared with us the experience of exhaustion and pain. His soul tasted every bitterness: indifference, ingratitude, betrayal, slander, moral agony in its highest degree when he took upon himself the sins of the world, the shameful death of the cross…

Our Lord wants us to avoid pain and combat illness with all the means at our disposal. But he wants us to understand, at the same time, that our pain and suffering can have a redemptive meaning and lead to our personal purification…

Comfort one another pleads St. Paul. For there are a thousand things which tend to separate us, but suffering unites us.


… break my heart for what breaks Yours…


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