December 28, 2019

The Holy Innocents

“Our soul has been rescued like a bird from the fowler’s snare.” (Ps 124:7)

Today’s commemoration of The Holy Innocents injects a somber note into the time after Christmas. Tender images of the Christ child, born in poverty and obscurity but welcomed lovingly by Mary and Joseph and hosts of angels praising God, give way to a tragedy of unimaginable horror, fueled by the jealousy and paranoia of a tyrant king.

The sad truth, however, is that innocent ones (children, the vulnerable, and those on the margins of society) continue to suffer violence at the hands of the cruel and the indifferent, sharing the fate of the innocent Lamb of God.

In 2016, Pope Francis wrote in a letter on this feast: “To contemplate the manger also means to contemplate this cry of pain, to open our eyes and ears to what is going on around us, and to let our hearts be attentive and open to the pain of our neighbors. . . . To contemplate the manger in isolation from the world around us would make Christmas into a lovely story that inspires warm feelings but robs us of the creative power of the Good News that the incarnate Word wants to give us.”

Life is fragile, and to be cherished and protected, especially the lives of those who cannot defend themselves. We who take Christ sacramentally into our bodies in Communion recall that the Word of God assumed our frailty to redeem us and to raise us to a new and inviolable dignity.

Pray for the holy innocents of our world.

Let us pray:

Father, enlighten our minds and hearts to a renewed conviction that all life is sacred because it is fashioned in your image and likeness. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.


Daily Eucharistic Reflection – Center for Eucharistic Evangelizing (eucharisticevangelizing.com)


About Anthony Schueller, SSS

Father Anthony Schueller was the Provincial Superior of the Province of Saint Ann of the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament and the editor of Emmanuel.