Now after they had left, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Get up, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you; for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him.” Then Joseph got up, took the child and his mother by night, and went to Egypt, and remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet, “Out of Egypt I have called my son.”
When Herod saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, he was infuriated, and he sent and killed all the children in and around Bethlehem who were two years old or under, according to the time that he had learned from the wise men. Then was fulfilled what had been spoken through the prophet Jeremiah: “A voice was heard in Ramah, wailing and loud lamentation, Rachel weeping for her children; she refused to be consoled, because they are no more.”
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
Herod realized that he had been deceived and ordered the massacre of all the boys in Bethlehem, two years old and younger. Hearing this today, we may be tempted to imitate the Pharisee in Luke, standing in the Temple, praying: “God, I thank you that I am not like other people…” Certainly today, 2000 years later, we are not like Herod; we’re not wiping out scores of little kids. But are we really any better?
Recall the photos of the body of the refugee boy washed up on a Turkish beach. His name was Aylan. Remember the massacre at Sandy Hook. And Sutherland Springs. The ongoing genocide of the Rohingya. And the untold thousands who have died in the name of God, or country, or ideology, or indifference. We all share in the responsibility for these acts. And we all must “be the change we want to see”(Ghandi). All of us.
What action can you take to bring about a positive change in the world?
Soul of Christ, be my sanctification;
Body of Christ, be my salvation;
Blood of Christ, fill all my veins;
Water of Christ’s side, wash out my stains;
Passion of Christ, my comfort be;
O good Jesus, listen to me;
In Thy wounds I fain would hide;
Ne’er to be parted from Thy side;
Guard me, should the foe assail me;
Call me when my life shall fail me;
Bid me come to Thee above,
With Thy saints to sing Thy love,
World without end.
—Anima Christi, translated by Blessed John Henry Newman
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