by Rafael Mosteyrin
Celebrated today, December 28, is the feast of the Holy Innocents and Father Rafael Mosteyrin, priest of the Opus Dei, offers the following article.
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We are all capable of the best and of the worst. On Palm Sunday, the majority of those in Jerusalem celebrated Jesus’ entrance. Three days later, many who acclaimed Him on His arrival, shout and cried out for His crucifixion.
Jesus was born just three days ago, and He has changed the history of the world. Today, the 28th, we recall the killing of innocent children, out of hatred and envy of Jesus. These are inconsistencies that can be repeated in the life of each one of us: God loves us and we sin by disobeying his Commandments. However, as long as we repent, God always forgives us.
King Herod was afraid that the Messiah, although only a newborn baby, would take away his throne. As he didn’t know who He was, to be rid of Him, Herod gave thought to one of the evilest ideas of the whole of humanity’s history. He ordered his soldiers to go to Bethlehem, so that that Child, whom he knew was defenseless, wouldn’t survive.
He asked the soldiers to kill the children under two years old who were born in Bethlehem and its surroundings (Matthew 2:16). However, God who wants to save us, sent an Angel to warn Joseph in a dream, asking him to leave the city. Mary mounted the donkey again, now with Jesus in her arms. And Joseph held the reins, journeying to Egypt. Saint Joseph is an example of swift obedience, which is always the best way to be.
Herod was afraid when he discovered that a competitor had been born. It’s the usual envy, which doesn’t let him see the good of others. Herod sends the Wise men to Bethlehem and asks them for information, so that he can also go to adore Him: what a false attitude!
Yet, we are also like that; we lie, dissimulate, make a false face to get what we want.
A few years ago, during a public debate, Nobel Prize winner Jacques Monod, said he was in favor of some types of abortion. A doctor then asked him, “Would you permit a tuberculous woman to abort, given grave congenital defects, vexed by her brutal and alcoholic husband? The scientist answered that it was a clear case to allow it.
The doctor who asked the question then asked the auditorium for a minute of silence. Because, according to that criterion, Professor Monod would have killed Beethoven himself.
The easiest thing is almost never convenient, as Beethoven himself demonstrated later, with his life of tireless work, and that’s why he is a genius. I tell this in connection with his 250th anniversary this year 2020, so that we also realize what that killing was of the Holy Innocents, and the current killing of every innocent child, born or unborn.
The Holy Innocents are children that were murdered, when they were already born, because of Herod’s envy.
If it’s already painful to know of a person’s death, before he/she is born, imagine what it was like to see the death of all those children younger than two years of age, because of Herod’s decision — and for what?
It’s a mystery that leads us to ask God to have good always triumph over evil, in the first place, in our own life. Good is what brings out the best in each person, and evil the worst. God is never the cause of evil, but man is, who has used is freedom badly and who can commit the most tremendous murders.
Today is a day in which traditionally jokes are played. It’s a way of remembering those children, who didn’t have the time to play, who were pure innocence, and who, we are certain, went straight to Heaven, having given their life innocently.