Mt 2:13-18 The Murder of Innocence
While back home, I had the unfortunate displeasure of watching a few minutes of a talk show called “Live with Regis and Kelly.” It made me sick to my stomach. The co-star Kelly made reference to a recent poll showing that for the first time in US history, there were fewer people getting married. Not only that, but single parents consider themselves a very good thing for society. In other words, single parenting is no longer an unfortunate situation or a heart breaking reality but rather a choice, a blessing! I guess the same goes for same-sex marriage, no-fault divorce, embryonic research and destruction and contraception. These human tragedies may be considered by some to be nothing more than cultural shifts or new family models, but I am here to tell you that they are nothing less than the advancing goose steps of the culture of death and the murder of innocence!
Human life is in danger today just as much as the Holy Family was under attack in years gone by. Children are bullied, abused and sold because they can be murdered, just like years gone by. The novelty today is that parental rights - authority - is questioned by the so-called experts, educators and movie producers with devastating consequences felt by society as a whole.
What is the solution? The same as the Lord’s: we need holy families – moms and dads that tell their love story of marriage, family, struggle and commitment. We need holy families that will proclaim the Good News with great joy! We need saints – moms, dads and children that inspire others through their unconditional love/sacrifices for each other. We need martyrs! That is, those children who are willing to stand up to the culture of death by laying down their lives to advance the Way, the Truth and the Life – the life of Jesus. Our mission is no easier than that of the Holy Innocents. They are the ones that first made evident an entire generation of secular humans gone mad! The massacre of the Holy Innocents; that is, the laying down of their lives gave to the world a silent testimony of unconditional love for God and the screaming consequences of unconditional hatred towards God and others.
We have become very practical. Modern man is very practical and our practicality is turning us into machines rather than humans. Herod had no heart. He had a mission and he executed it with cold blooded efficiency. He took no risks; never doubted for a moment. He was sure in his plan. But the Lord knows the plans of evil men. I love what the Psalmist writes, “Our soul has been rescued like a bird from the fowler’s snare!” (Ps 124:7) Evil destroys itself, we should fear not.
What must we do? What worked for Mary and Joseph will work for us. What worked then will work today: fidelity during hardship and trials; happiness and confidence in times of persecution; commitment to God’s Law will bring about freedom and peace. Forgiveness for our failures will welcome a sinful man back home. In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s Scarlet Letter, the narrator counsels us to “Be true!” He pleads with us to acknowledge the truth tragedy reveals about the human condition: we are imperfect and limited beings, and if we try to deny this fact or hide our flaws from others, we ruin ourselves. Cultural shifts and the so-called “new family models” are not the result of changing times, but rather the result of the ever-present reality of sin. Come what may, Love is given with joy, fidelity and commitment. And when we sin, we fall short of that love. That’s true today, it was true yesterday and will be true forever.
“We have fellowship with him” (1Jn 1:5). Stick with the Lord from the beginning till the end. Do not waver, do not doubt, and do not hesitate. We have fellowship with the Lord means we are committed to Him, and once committed there is no turning back. Let us follow the Holy Family through the raging fires of Hell.