Had not the LORD been with us— When men rose up against us, then would they have swallowed us alive, When their fury was inflamed against us.

Today is a hard day to be joyful. Here we celebrate Christmas and then on the 26th we commemorate the death of St. Stephen, the first martyr for the faith. Hey, Merry Christmas. Yesterday was the Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph. Taking advantage of that, our family has been celebrating since Thursday night – Christmas Eve. Now, today we commemorate the one of the saddest events in all of human history – the Feast of the Holy Innocents, martyrs. An event in history where MAN was going to prove that HE was stronger the God Himself and wiped out all of the boys two years of age and younger in Bethlehem and its vicinity – ALL OF THEM…When Herod realized that he had been deceived by the magi, he became furious. He ordered the massacre of all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had ascertained from the magi. What makes this a tougher pill to swallow is that this event was predicted – prophesied – to happen many centuries before it occurred…Then was fulfilled what had been said through Jeremiah the prophet:

A voice was heard in Ramah,
sobbing and loud lamentation;
Rachel weeping for her children,
and she would not be consoled,
since they were no more.

Again, it’s a hard day in the life of a Christian today. Hard because it seems like we are still experiencing the slaughtering of the Holy Innocents today. Hard because men still think they have the power (and the right) to determine who lives and who dies, that they hold the power and wisdom of God in justifying these unjust punishments. It is hard and it’s hard to understand all of this at times. Death is hard – period. The death of innocent children is hard – period. Where is it that one can find comfort in these hard times. It can be found in the Word of God. Look no further than the Words of our Father shared to us before the Gospel this morning…

Reading 1

1 JN 1:5—2:2

Beloved:
This is the message that we have heard from Jesus Christ
and proclaim to you:
God is light, and in him there is no darkness at all.
If we say, “We have fellowship with him,” 
while we continue to walk in darkness,
we lie and do not act in truth.
But if we walk in the light as he is in the light,
then we have fellowship with one another,
and the Blood of his Son Jesus cleanses us from all sin.
If we say, “We are without sin,”
we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
If we acknowledge our sins, he is faithful and just 
and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from every wrongdoing.
If we say, “We have not sinned,” we make him a liar, 
and his word is not in us.

My children, I am writing this to you
so that you may not commit sin.
But if anyone does sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, 
Jesus Christ the righteous one.
He is expiation for our sins,
and not for our sins only but for those of the whole world.

Can you see the inspiration found in the Divine Mercy Chaplet here…But if anyone does sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous one. He is expiation for our sins, and not for our sins only but for those of the whole world.

Eternal Father, I offer you today the body and blood, soul and divinity, of our dearly beloved Lord, Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world.

For the sake of His sorrowful passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.

This devotional was given to us by St. Faustina – who was inspired by Christ Himself to share with us her thoughts.

We should also be inspired by our Psalm today…

Responsorial Psalm

PS 124:2-3, 4-5, 7CD-8R. (7) Our soul has been rescued like a bird from the fowler’s snare.
Had not the LORD been with us—
When men rose up against us,
then would they have swallowed us alive,
When their fury was inflamed against us.
R. Our soul has been rescued like a bird from the fowler’s snare.
Then would the waters have overwhelmed us;
The torrent would have swept over us;
over us then would have swept the raging waters.
R. Our soul has been rescued like a bird from the fowler’s snare.
Broken was the snare,
and we were freed.
Our help is in the name of the LORD,
who made heaven and earth.
R. Our soul has been rescued like a bird from the fowler’s snare.

If not for my Lord and Savior, if not for God, then the waters of life can and will overwhelm me; the torrent of life can and will sweep over me. Life rages on. Man will always sinful. I will always be a sinner. But let me emphasize – even in today’s world – there is the same hope that our brothers and sisters of old had and that is that God is our advocate. God will save us from all of our sins and wash us clean from all of our faults. Sometimes death, in the hands of God, can be a life saving event. Look no farther than the Cross for that fulfilling promise. It was and is today the Cross that broke the snare and freed us. There is hope as long as your hope is in the Lord, who made heaven and earth.

So mourn for the loss of the Holy Innocents – of days past, days present and future days to come. But mourn not for the innocent souls (for God will raise them into His heavenly kingdom), mourn for the man/men who do not see the sin they are committing. Mourn for those who find solace in their works and not the works of God. But as you mourn – hope too. The world is full of hope because we have the light of Christ to illuminate our path. We have the life of Christ to see that through Him there is healing. We have the death of Christ to show us that God can conquer even death and we have the resurrection of Christ that we can all cry out in gladness – O Death, Where is Thy Sting.

Do something great for our Lord today – rejoice; have faith; trust in the Lord. Walk in the light as He is in the light. Walk in fellowship with one another and let the blood from His innocent slaughter on the Cross wash over you and cleanse you from all of your faults.

One last prayer – it is the opening prayer of the Chaplet of Divine Mercy…

You expired Je

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