Dec. 28: Feast of the Holy Innocents

Every now and then I post stuff RE the liturgical calendar, and today is a special day, one honoring children martyrs, martyred without their knowledge, but nevertheless for the sake of the Kingdom of God. Especially striking is the two readings and how well they work together. It also reminds us of the alughter of the children by Pharaoh in the days of Moses, showing us that Jesus is the new Moses who comes to reveal God's Law. Here we find as well a foreshadowing of the violence of empire against God's Kingdom which culminates in the Cross of our Lord. (HT to Continuum.)

December 28th, The Feast of the Holy Innocents

For the Epistle. Rev. xiv. 1.

I LOOKED, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father's name written in their foreheads. And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps: and they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth. These are they which were not defiled with women for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb. And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God.

The Gospel. St. Matt. ii. 13.

THE angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saving, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, an be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him. When he arose, he took the young child and his mother by night, and departed into Egypt: and was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son. Then Herod, when he maw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth, and sent forth, amid slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to time which he had diligently enquired of the wise men. Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremy the prophet, saying, In Rama was there a voice heard, lamentation, and weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not.

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