27 December 2022

'Rachel weeping for her children.' Feast of the Holy Innocents


Joseph's Dream
Rembrandt [Web Gallery of Art]

An angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Rise, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt(Mt 2:13).

Feast of the Holy Innocents, Martyrs
28 December

Gospel Matthew 2:13-18 (English Standard Version Anglicised: India)

Now when the wise men had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Rise, 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.” And he rose and took the child and his mother by night and departed to Egypt and remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfil what the Lord had spoken by the prophet, “Out of Egypt I called my son.”

Then Herod, when he saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, became furious, and he sent and killed all the male children in Bethlehem and in all that region who were two years old or under, according to the time that he had ascertained from the wise men. Then was fulfilled what was spoken by the prophet Jeremiah:

“A voice was heard in Ramah,
    weeping and loud lamentation,
Rachel weeping for her children;
    she refused to be comforted, because they are no more.”

Massacre of the Innocents

Blessed Fra Angelico [Web Gallery of Art]

Laudato si', No 120

Pope Francis

Since everything is interrelated, concern for the protection of nature is also incompatible with the justification of abortion. How can we genuinely teach the importance of concern for other vulnerable beings, however troublesome or inconvenient they may be, if we fail to protect a human embryo, even when its presence is uncomfortable and creates difficulties? “If personal and social sensitivity towards the acceptance of the new life is lost, then other forms of acceptance that are valuable for society also wither away”.

Lully, Lulla, Lullay (CoventryCarol)
Arranged by Philip Stopford, sung by Voces8

This very old carol originating in Coventry, England, tells the sorrow of the mothers of the infants massacred on the orders of Kong Herod. The history of the song and its lyrics are here.

Rachel's Vineyard

Rachel's Vineyard is a safe place to renew, rebuild and redeem hearts broken by abortion. Weekend retreats offer you a supportive, confidential and non-judgmental environment where women and men can express, release and reconcile painful post-abortive emotions to begin the process of restoration, renewal and healing.

Rachel's Vineyard, Britain.

Rachel's Vineyard, Ireland.

1 comment:

Mariette VandenMunckhof-Vedder said...

Dearest Father Seán,
What great cruelty has been carried out by many leaders...
This must have been heart breaking for so many parents!
May God reward all those that suffered during their life time and punish those that caused such great grief accordingly.