Feast of the Holy Innocents

“When the magi had departed, behold,
the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said,
“Rise, take the child and his mother, flee to Egypt,
and stay there until I tell you.
Herod is going to search for the child to destroy him.”
Joseph rose and took the child and his mother by night
and departed for Egypt.” – Mt 2:13-14

On this feast day of the Holy Innocents I find that I struggle to understand God’s plan in such a tragic event.  And we continue to find so many tragic events today when innocent people – young and old are brutally killed.  Where is God’s plan in all of this?  I know that I will have many more questions when I, hopefully, come face-to-face with God.

During this Christmas season my wife and I have been watching several of the classic Christmas movies.  It has been enjoyable and often bringing a tear to the eye.  One movie that pops out at me this morning as I reflect upon these readings is “It’s a Wonderful Life.”  In the movie George Bailey is a young man who has always wanted to go on to do great things – travel the world, design and build tall buildings, etc., however, due to circumstances, he is unable to follow his dreams.  The premise of the movie goes on to show George that his life, despite not going on the path that he had hoped for, has made a difference.  He has had influence on the lives of the people around him.  This is shown to him by letting him see how things would have been if he had not been born and how life would have been for the people of the town (and his family) if he had not existed. He comes to realize that he does have a “wonderful life” surrounded by family and friends.

My point in this is that our lives matter.  No matter the path that we are taken, we have an influence on others both in life and in death.  Just as Jesus’ life was cut short in his prime, his death brings life to all.  Through his life, death and resurrection Jesus shows us the way.  We call this the “Paschal Mystery”.

Lord, help us to understand Your Way.  Even when life does not makes sense to us and we struggle to understand the tragedy that is around us, give us the strength to trust in You that through death comes life, life with you. Amen.

Photo from biblefilms.blogspot.com

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