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Quote of the Day

“While creating Western Civilization, their (the early Christians) minds were on something else… like corals building the Great Barrier Reef, all these Christians created our Western Civilization as the unplanned byproduct of their personal hope and labor… If we really wish to defend and extend it… we can do so only by imitating the builders whose real hope was elsewhere… And the glory of the Christian hope is that it is not offered to ‘the world’ but to living men and women for a life beyond.” – Easter Editorial, LIFE Magazine, April 19 1954 – quoted by Rev. Dr. Kurt Marquart

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We Need To Kill Screens For Much Bigger Reasons Than Censorship: As relationships and communities dissolve, people become alienated from one another and even themselves. One act that will help is to cut the tech chord. By Auguste Meyrat, The Federalist

Ecclesiastes 1:

All things are full of weariness;
    a man cannot utter it;
the eye is not satisfied with seeing,
    nor the ear filled with hearing.
What has been is what will be,
    and what has been done is what will be done,
    and there is nothing new under the sun.

1 John 2: 16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the vainglory of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.

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Why Do "Left" And "Right" Mean Liberal And Conservative? - Dictionary.com

“Politics has become so all-possessive of life, that by impertinence it thinks the only philosophy a person can hold is the right or the left. This question puts out all the lights of religion so they can call all the cats gray. It assumes that man lives on a purely horizontal plane, and can move only to the right or the left. Had we eyes less material, we would see that there are two other directions where a man with a soul may look: the vertical directions of “up” or “down.”
― Fulton J. Sheen, Characters of the Passion (First published in 1947)

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Collect of the Day:

Almighty God, You revealed to Your Church your eternal being of glorious majesty and perfect love as one God in a Trinity of Persons. May Your Church, with bishops like Basil of Caesarea,Gregory of Nazianzus, and Gregory of Nyssa, receive grace to continue steadfast in the confession of the true faith and constant in our worship of You, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, who live and reign, one God, now and forever. Amen.

Intro:  Basil and the two Gregorys, collectively known as the Cappadocian Fathers, were leaders of Christian orthodoxy in Asia Minor (modern Turkey) in the later fourth century. Basil and Gregory of Nyssa were brothers; Gregory of Nazianzus was their friend. All three were influential in shaping the theology ratified by the Council of Constantinople of 381, which is expressed in the Nicene Creed. Their defense of the doctrines of the Holy Spirit and Holy Trinity, together with their contributions to the liturgy of the Eastern Church, make them among the most influential Christian teachers and theologians of their time.(Source: The Treasury of Daily Prayer)

Reflection: David Anderson, translator of St. Basil’s On the Holy Spirit, has this cogent observation:

“It is this translator’s opinion that  a good dose of dry logical Cappadocian theology can serve as an effective antidote for the subjective emotionalism in which modern Christians frequently find themselves engulfed.  Doctrine these days is often ignored, taken for granted or replaced with individualism, and perhaps the fathers can help us by reminding us (often with many words!) that God became man to show us the truth which gives life and freedom, a truth which is eternal.”(David Anderson, On the Holy Spirit by St. Basil, 1980, St. Vladimir’s Press)

Much of Christianity is about how I feel and not about what is real, the reality of  truth, doctrine and the teaching and preaching of the same, the reality of sin and the Savior. Doctrine is life because faithful Biblical and Christian doctrine teaches us Christ Jesus.  The Nicene Creed confess the Biblical doctrine of the Trinity and so to avoid the dead ends and quicksand  of false doctrine and heresy.  The Nicene Creed is like GPS as it  shows us the way in the summation of God’s righteous deeds finally and fully in Jesus Christ. The Nicene Creed is Scriptural:  check it out here. The Nicene Creed restates the truth of Scripture.

At the words of the Nicene Creed, “…and was made man”, the practice is to bow or even kneel at the confession of the Incarnation.  Luther thought this was meet, right and so to do. Still is.  After all,  every knee shall bow in heaven or on earth at the Name of Jesus, see  Philippians 2:9-11.  Truth is not found in my heart or your heart, with all the subjectivism of sin which we are prone, but in the true doctrine as the Church Fathers confessed and objectively lived in Jesus Christ in the glory of God the Father in the unity of the Holy Ghost, received by faith:  “for us and our salvation, He came down from heaven”. So when we find ourselves in the “stormy gale”, or the dull doldrums of everyday life, turn towards God’s Word, not man’s word to help and correct life’s passage.

“Instruction begins with the proper use of speech, and syllables and words are the elements of speech. Therefore to scrutinize syllables is not a superfluous task…If a man spurns fundamental elements as insignificant trifles, he will never embrace the fullness of wisdom. ‘Yes’ and “No’ are only two syllables, yet truth, the best of all good things, as well as falsehood, the worst possible evil, are most often expressed by these two small words.” From On the Holy Spirit by Basil the Great

The Lord’s No in His Law is against all ungodliness, sinfulness and idolatry and His Yes in His Beloved Son, Jesus Christ, who bore all our sin and is our Savior for our justification.  The Holy Spirit teaches us Christ and God’s wisdom in Christ, No and Yes, in the school of the Church, Christ’s own body. James 1: 5: “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.”  With the Cappadocian Fathers we too confess the One God: Father, +Son and Holy Spirit.

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“Stay close to the candles. The stairway can be… treacherous”, Frau Blucher, movie: “Young Frankenstein”

Text, from St. Matthew: “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.”

By the Lord’s appointed natural light, a star, He led hard core pagan astrologers to worship a newly born king.  Little did the Magi know the star would lead them to the light of the world, , God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God.  The Lord led the Magi to Himself. The Lord leads us to Himself. His light to lead us to the supernatural light of Jesus Christ, God’s mercy and love, pure Gospel, the Word made flesh, in Him was life and the life was the light of men. His light of His Word to lead us and others through the darkness.  IN Thy light do we see light.

In one of the many funny scenes in Mel Brooks’, “Young Frankenstein”, Frau Blucher encourages Dr. Frankenstein, Inga and Igor, as they go up the castle’s narrow steps, with no railing, to “Stay close to the candles. The stairway can be… treacherous”, except, the candles are not lit!

Yes, the stairs can be treacherous. Yes, stay close to the candles but if they are not lit…sounds like, in a more serious vein that the problem is correctly stated of the vain and various solutions and salvations of man are like those unlit candles: nice show but no light, e.g. as Scientism, selfism, and spiritualisms are all candle with no light.   From a website:“Scientism is a matter of putting too high a value on natural science in comparison with other branches of learning or culture.” IN other words science itself is made into a religion which it never was meant to be:  “We follow the Science”. No, science does not follow science. Science follows the facts to understand factual truth, not spiritual truth. Scientists are not pastors. Selfism  is  me, myself and I. It is the currently sanctioned religion of the Old Adam that whatever comes out of my mind, sinful as it is, is a new religion and so spiritualisms.

One of the symbols of the Soviet Union was a red star.  In the ’70s, when visiting the Soviet Union with a group from my college, Concordia Senior College, I remember being on Red Square in the evening and seeing a lit red star on one of the towers of the Kremlin. It was eerie and weirdly comforting as it stood for the totalitarian state watching over you and watching you. From a website:  “The red star represents the Communist Party, and its position over the hammer and sickle symbolises its leading role in socialist society to unify and enlighten the workers and peasants in the building of communism.” It enlightened no one.  The red star of Communism leads to a manger without God.  The stars of this world lead only to themselves, again no Lord there. The Star of Bethlehem leads to the manger with the Christ Child, God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God (From The Nicene Creed).    

 IF our eyes follow the stars, that is public personalities, we discover, at best, they are light with no warmth, likewise follow the light of dollar signs, ourselves, and indeed those stairs are treacherous.  “If the light in you is darkness—how great the darkness!” (Matthew) Don’t cast the lamp of your eyes upon them. The Lord has first cast the light of His Law, Your Word is lamp unto my feet, a guide unto my path.  He continually shows us the treacherous steps and the treachery of the heart.  Now He has given us the Light made flesh for our forgiveness by His holiness to be holy in love’s pure light. There is no treachery in the Lord.

Epiphany Season is about the light and the light has a name: Jesus Christ. Stay close to this light because the world, the flesh and the devil are treacherous. We need this encouragement in these dark days. Remember as the Lord tells us in His Word, Ephesians 5: 8: “…for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light”. We stay close to the Lord in the means He has given us: Baptism and Holy Communion and alongside and through the Sacramental life of the Church: He feeds us His Word, written, preached and taught, through prayer and godly conversation, the laughter of the saints and the tears of those who suffer with you. He does this to save us and also to save us for others: to walk with a light step that others may see Christ, the light of the world, His life the light of men.

Like a long lit votive candles’ wax becomes clear near the flame and translucent, the Lord purifies His children.  His light prevents our falling over the edge, and when fallen to pick us up again in joyous repentance and forgiveness. Stay close to the Light and the Light will guide you along the Way and will light the way for a fellow family member and friend to their Lord and God.

There is a way that seems right to a man,
    but its end is the way to death.
Proverbs 14: 12

The “way” that is right to a man, is the way of Herod the Great, who after he said he wanted to worship the newly born king, only wanted to kill Him as he tried when he ordered the deaths of all male children under the age of two in Bethlehem.  As St. Ambrose preached on the two ways:

From an Epiphany Sermon by St. Ambrose:“The Magi come by one way, and return by another. For they who had seen Christ, had come to know Christ; and they returned more truly believing than they came. The way is twofold: one that leads to destruction, and the other that leads to the Kingdom. There is the way of sinners, that leads to Herod: this way is Christ by which we return to our country. For here we have no lasting dwelling, as it is written: My soul hath long been a sojourner (Ps. cxix. 6). Let us turn away from Herod- ruler for a while of an earthly power, that we may come to the everlasting dwelling of our heavenly country.

Let us pray…

O Christ, our true and only Light,
Enlighten those who sit in night;
Let those afar now hear Thy voice
And in Thy fold with us rejoice.
  LSB #839, “Mission and Witness” hymn section

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Quote of the Day

“Many a modern preacher is far less concerned with preaching Christ and Him crucified than he is with his popularity with his congregation. A want of intellectual backbone makes him straddle the ox of truth and the ass of nonsense.” -From Old Errors and New Labels (published 1931), by Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen (1895-1979)

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St. Thomas Becket

Intro:  Your scribe missed an important anniversary this past December:  the 850th Anniversary of the martyrdom of Thomas Becket.  No matter what you may think about President Trump, nevertheless, this proclamation both teaches us much about this Saint and the actual foundations of our American democratic republic.  On a personal note, in seminary, there was production of T.S. Eliot’s “Murder in the Cathedral” which is about St. Thomas Becket and his martyrdom, and I played the third knight and the third tempter, and this play was my first education in the life of this worthy saint.  Becket’s King was tired of this pesky priest stopping his plans by asserting the moral authority of the Church (BTW:  this is still the Roman Catholic Church in England). So many governments want to stop the interference of the Church even in government plans that can be for the good.  But when those plans are at the cost of religious freedom, then, as Becket says in Eliot’s play is spot on: “The last temptation is the greatest treason: To do the right deed for the wrong reason.”

Proclamation on 850th Anniversary of the Martyrdom of Saint Thomas Becket, by President Donald J. Trump, the White House; Issued on: December 28, 2020

Today is the 850th anniversary of the martyrdom of Saint Thomas Becket on December 29, 1170. Thomas Becket was a statesman, a scholar, a chancellor, a priest, an archbishop, and a lion of religious liberty.

Before the Magna Carta was drafted, before the right to free exercise of religion was enshrined as America’s first freedom in our glorious Constitution, Thomas gave his life so that, as he said, “the Church will attain liberty and peace.”

The son of a London sheriff and once described as “a low‑born clerk” by the King who had him killed, Thomas Becket rose to become the leader of the church in England. When the crown attempted to encroach upon the affairs of the house of God through the Constitutions of Clarendon, Thomas refused to sign the offending document. When the furious King Henry II threatened to hold him in contempt of royal authority and questioned why this “poor and humble” priest would dare defy him, Archbishop Becket responded “God is the supreme ruler, above Kings” and “we ought to obey God rather than men.”

Because Thomas would not assent to rendering the church subservient to the state, he was forced to forfeit all his property and flee his own country. Years later, after the intervention of the Pope, Becket was allowed to return — and continued to resist the King’s oppressive interferences into the life of the church. Finally, the King had enough of Thomas Becket’s stalwart defense of religious faith and reportedly exclaimed in consternation: “Will no one rid me of this meddlesome priest?”

The King’s knights responded and rode to Canterbury Cathedral to deliver Thomas Becket an ultimatum: give in to the King’s demands or die. Thomas’s reply echoes around the world and across the ages. His last words on this earth were these: “For the name of Jesus and the protection of the Church, I am ready to embrace death.” Dressed in holy robes, Thomas was cut down where he stood inside the walls of his own church.

Thomas Becket’s martyrdom changed the course of history. It eventually brought about numerous constitutional limitations on the power of the state over the Church across the West. In England, Becket’s murder led to the Magna Carta’s declaration 45 years later that: “[T]he English church shall be free, and shall have its rights undiminished and its liberties unimpaired.”

When the Archbishop refused to allow the King to interfere in the affairs of the Church, Thomas Becket stood at the intersection of church and state. That stand, after centuries of state-sponsored religious oppression and religious wars throughout Europe, eventually led to the establishment of religious liberty in the New World. It is because of great men like Thomas Becket that the first American President George Washington could proclaim more than 600 years later that, in the United States, “All possess alike liberty of conscience and immunities of citizenship” and that “it is now no more that toleration is spoken of, as if it was by the indulgence of one class of people, that another enjoyed the exercise of their inherent natural rights.”

Thomas Becket’s death serves as a powerful and timeless reminder to every American that our freedom from religious persecution is not a mere luxury or accident of history, but rather an essential element of our liberty. It is our priceless treasure and inheritance. And it was bought with the blood of martyrs.

As Americans, we were first united by our belief that “rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God” and that defending liberty is more important than life itself. If we are to continue to be the land of the free, no government official, no governor, no bureaucrat, no judge, and no legislator must be allowed to decree what is orthodox in matters of religion or to require religious believers to violate their consciences. No right is more fundamental to a peaceful, prosperous, and virtuous society than the right to follow one’s religious convictions. As I declared in Krasiński Square in Warsaw, Poland on July 6, 2017, the people of America and the people of the world still cry out: “We want God.”

On this day, we celebrate and revere Thomas Becket’s courageous stand for religious liberty and we reaffirm our call to end religious persecution worldwide. In my historic address to the United Nations last year, I made clear that America stands with believers in every country who ask only for the freedom to live according to the faith that is within their own hearts. I also stated that global bureaucrats have absolutely no business attacking the sovereignty of nations that wish to protect innocent life, reflecting the belief held by the United States and many other countries that every child — born and unborn — is a sacred gift from God. Earlier this year, I signed an Executive Order to prioritize religious freedom as a core dimension of United States foreign policy. We have directed every Ambassador — and the over 13,000 United States Foreign Service officers and specialists — in more than 195 countries to promote, defend, and support religious freedom as a central pillar of American diplomacy.

We pray for religious believers everywhere who suffer persecution for their faith. We especially pray for their brave and inspiring shepherds — like Cardinal Joseph Zen of Hong Kong and Pastor Wang Yi of Chengdu — who are tireless witnesses to hope.

To honor Thomas Becket’s memory, the crimes against people of faith must stop, prisoners of conscience must be released, laws restricting freedom of religion and belief must be repealed, and the vulnerable, the defenseless, and the oppressed must be protected. The tyranny and murder that shocked the conscience of the Middle Ages must never be allowed to happen again. As long as America stands, we will always defend religious liberty.

A society without religion cannot prosper. A nation without faith cannot endure — because justice, goodness, and peace cannot prevail without the grace of God.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, DONALD J. TRUMP, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim December 29, 2020, as the 850th anniversary of the martyrdom of Saint Thomas Becket. I invite the people of the United States to observe the day in schools and churches and customary places of meeting with appropriate ceremonies in commemoration of the life and legacy of Thomas Becket.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-eighth day of December, in the year of our Lord two thousand twenty, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-fifth.

DONALD J. TRUMP

St. Thomas Becket - Saints & Angels - Catholic Online

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Collect of the Day

O God, by the leading of a star You made known Your only-begotten Son to the Gentiles. Lead us, who know You by faith, to enjoy in heaven the fullness of Your divine presence; through the same  Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

The Appointed Scripture Readings: Old Testament: Is. 60:1–6 The Psalm: Psalm 24 The Epistle: Eph. 3:1–12 The Gospel: Matt. 2:1–12

Intro: 

The feast of the Epiphany of Our Lord commemorates no event but presents an idea that assumes concrete form only through the facts of our Lord’s life. The idea of Epiphany is that the Christ who was born in Bethlehem is recognized by the world as God. At Christmas, God appears as man, and at Epiphany, this man appears before the world as God. That Christ became man needed no proof. But that this man, this helpless child, is God needed proof. The manifestations of the Trinity, the signs and wonders performed by this man, and all His miracles have the purpose of proving to men that Jesus is God, Lately, especially in the Western Church, the story of the Magi has been associated with this feast day. As Gentiles who were brought to faith in Jesus Christ, the Magi represent all believers from the Gentile world. (Intro from The Treasury of Daily Prayer, CPH)

This day has also been called Christmas of the Gentiles and Gentiles t is most of us reading this blog.  We are the goy, the nations as attested in the Bible. And the Magi were most likely, well, notorious Gentiles.  First they were not kings and they were not philosophers, that is, ‘wise men’. So who were the Magi? Professor Jeffrey Gibbs, Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, MO, in his commentary on Matthew  has a fine explanation of who the Magi were most likely.

“In Daniel 2: 2, the Greek translation,  of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream, his  “…wizards and the MAGI and the sorcerers of the Chaldeans” could not interpret it.  “These various Babylonian practitioners of  occult learning, which would be anathema to a first-century Jewish audience…the magi are not  “wise” in any learning that comports with truth and piety.  And is exactly why Matthew’s original readers would have been surprised by their appearing in Matthew 2: 1, which is probably why  Matthew marks their appearance with LOOK!  BEHOLD! (Mt. 2: 1).  Magi did not worship the God of Israel:  they were in league with a supernatural power that opposed the one true God.  No one would expect MAGI to come in search of the Child-King whose birth was prophesied in Holy Scriptures. What, then are THEY doing here?  To underscore how the original readers/hearers of Matthew’s Gospel would have considered the Magi to be most ‘unlikely devotees’”.

As unlikely devotees as all the Gentiles who are called by the Word of God to Jesus Christ?  Yes.  Just think: the Magi followed God’s Word to the Child (Mt. 2:  5-6)!  And better than too many Christians these days. And that is the only way they could find the Way is by the Word of God, the Scriptures.. I think T. S. Eliot’s poem, “The Journey of the Magi”, (one of my favorites) catches Dr. Gibb’s insight into the Text regarding the Magi:

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By Faith Rahab - Dr. Ray Pritchard Christian Blog | Jesus family tree,  Genealogy of jesus, Bible

David, the greatest of Israel’s kings, ruled from about 1010 to 970 BC. The events of his life are found in 1 Samuel 16 through 1 Kings 2 and in 1 Chronicles 10-29. David was also gifted musically. He was skilled in playing the lyre and the author of no fewer than seventy-three psalms, including the beloved Psalm 23. His public and private character displayed a mixture of good (for example, his defeat of the giant Goliath [1 Samuel 17]) and evil (as in his adultery with Uriah’s wife, followed by his murder of Uriah [2 Samuel 11]). David’s greatness lay in his fierce loyalty to God as Israel’s military and political leader, coupled with his willingness to acknowledge his sins and ask for God’s forgiveness (2 Samuel 12; see also Psalm 51). It was under David’s leadership that the people of Israel were united into a single nation with Jerusalem as its capital city. (The Treasury of Daily Prayer, CPH)

Reflection:  David was born in Bethlehem. Beth-le-hem means “house of bread”.   The Lord promised David that the throne of Israel would never lack a descendant of David upon it….and the Lord told Israel through the prophets that the house of David and Jerusalem would be desolate because of desolation of their idolatry and immorality;  then in 587 B.C. the Babylonian Empire captured Israel and brought her into exile and destroyed the Temple.  The Lord is true to His promise that a royal Davidide would sit on the throne forever.  Jesus was born in Bethlehem, the Bread of Life born in the House of Bread. The genealogies in Luke and Matthew’s Gospels testify to His lineage.  Joseph, the Lord’s Stepfather was of the house of David. 

The first multi-part mini-series that was a mega hit was “Roots”, the story of Kunta Kinte and his family from West Africa.  They were captured by slavers and Kinte became a slave in the United States.  The mini-series was about his family and his descendants.  Commentators at the time noted that the “Roots” popularity had to do with rootless American society.  Few grow up and stay in the place they were born.  We forget who we are. Genealogical studies and websites are very popular.  Baseball’s whole goal is to go home.  Worse, we forget Who’s we are.  Christ Jesus has roots deep into in Israel and creation as the genealogies in Matthew and Luke testify.  Unto us a Son is born.  He made us part of the genealogy of Israel, adopted as the Lord’s sons and daughters, grafted into the olive tree of Israel (cf. Romans 11:  16-18).

The true King rooted Himself in His chosen nation Israel and His creation for us wandering and lost.  Jesus is King David’s Lord and Jesus was so before He was born. When Jesus’ ancestor according to the flesh was hungry,  the priests gave David holy bread, the Bread of the Presence.  Jesus is the Lord of life.  He gives us our daily bread and gives us the Bread of His Presence.  As King David sinned, repented and was restored, we come as sinners in repentance and in need of His forgiveness to be received by the Lord.  We come into His Presence  every First Day of the Week, singing the Psalms of David, to receive the Bread  of Life, His Body and Blood. The Church is Bethlehem, the House of Bread.

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The Holy Innocents Killed by Herod / OrthoChristian.Com
The LAMENT of RACHEL

Collect of the Day

Almighty God, the martyred innocents of Bethlehem showed forth Your praise not by speaking but by dying.  Put to death in us all that is in conflict with Your will that our lives may bear witness to the faith we profess with our lips;  through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

Intro:  Matthew’s Gospel tells of King Herod’s vicious plot against the infant Jesus after being “tricked” by the Wise Men.  Threatened by the one “born King of the Jews,”  Herod murdered all the children in  and around Bethlehem who were two years old or younger (Matthew 2: 16-18).  These “innocents,” commemorated just three days after the celebration of Jesus’ birth, remind us not only  of the terrible brutality of which human beings are capable but more significantly of the persecution Jesus endured from the beginning of His earthly life.  Although Jesus’ life was providentially spared at this time, many years later, another ruler, Pontius Pilate, would sentence the innocent Jesus to death. (From:  The Treasury of Daily Prayer, Concordia Publishing House)

Reflection:  I am no scholar of the various religions of the world, but from a cursory look at many religions, it seems that Judaism and Christianity so emphasize infants and children, and with them fathers and mothers…families, in comparison to the rest of the world’s religions.  Christmas is not for kids, but the Lord is for children throughout the Holy Scriptures:  from creation (“be fruitful and multiply”) to Adam and Eve to the Abraham and the Patriarchs to Ruth, as written in the many genealogies listed in Scriptures, then to the Holy Family.  The whole narrative of the beginning of the New Testament centers in Matthew and Luke on the conception and births of John the Baptist and Jesus. Children are crucial.  They were not expendable, even in the womb…still they are not trash.  So when King Herod the so-called ‘Great’, murders by his order, all the male children in Bethlehem under the age of two, in order to kill this possible usurper to his throne, Jesus, the weeping of Rachel for her children is profound. 

Jesus taught much about children after his interaction with them and their parents, Matthew 11:25, Matthew 18:3-5, Matthew 19:14, etc.  The Kingdom of God is received as a child, and that Scripture is for adults!  All baptisms are infant baptisms. Why did the Lord so teach?  First, He knew Scripture and the way the promises of God were fulfilled through families, such as His own!  This is a pure speculation:  Secondly, His Mother Mary and step-father Joseph probably told Him what happened that terrible deed of Herod’s killing the Holy Innocents.  I can’t help but imagining this could have struck a deep chord within His sinless heart, soul and mind.  Centuries before, another ruler, Pharoah tried to stop the Hebrews from multiplying by killing their male children, Exodus 1: 15-16.  The rulers and principalities, unaided by Scripture and reason, war against life and children:  they are aborted, abused physically, emotionally, spiritually and sexually, they are actively prevented from being conceived, sold as sex slaves. Many try to keep children from Jesus by encouraging them to sin.  As the Lord said,

And he said to his disciples, “Temptations to sin are sure to come, but woe to the one through whom they come! It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were cast into the sea than that he should cause one of these little ones to sin. (St. Luke 17:2).

Beloved in the Lord!  The Lord is for families as He came up with the idea and creates families and redeems them in His own Child!  As the Church, we must be ever vigilant to defend the family as the Lord is for the family. Let not the witness of the Holy Innocents of all times be forgotten as the crucified and risen Child of God is still for all His children.

Visit, O Lord, the homes in which Your people dwell, and keep all harm and danger far from them. Grant that we may dwell together in peace under the protection of Your holy angels, sharing eternally in Your blessings; through Jesus Christ, our Lord.

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