Monday, 28 December 2015

In Rama was there a voice heard, weeping and great mourning; Rachel weeping for her children. Because they were no more.

As we rejoice in this Christmastide, we are reminded for the second time of those who gave their lives for Our Lord Jesus Christ. First, it was Stephen, the Protomartyr, who said as recorded in the Book of Acts
51"You stiff-necked people, with uncircumcised hearts and ears! You are just like your fathers: You always resist the Holy Spirit! 52 Was there ever a prophet your fathers did not persecute? They even killed those who predicted the coming of the Righteous One. And now you have betrayed and murdered him-- 53 you who have received the law that was put into effect through angels but have not obeyed it."
I dare say that St. Stephen would be scandalised by the Church of Christ's refusal to speak truth to the Jews today.

Stephen died for Christ. Now, we have the great feast of the Holy Innocents, the first Martyrs of Our Lord who did not know Him but now rejoice in Him and who died in place of Christ.

Are we blind to the Holy Innocents of today who suffer slaughter in the womb  of their mothers


 All hail, ye little Martyr flowers,
Sweet rosebuds cut in dawning hours!
When Herod sought the Christ to find
Ye fell as bloom before the wind.

First victims of the Martyr bands,
With crowns and palms in tender hands,
Around the very altar, gay
And innocent, ye seem to play.

All honour, laud, and glory be,
o Jesu, Virgin-born to thee;
All glory, as is ever meet
To Father and to Paraclete.
Amen.

V. Herod being wroth, slew many children.
R. In Bethlehem of Juda, the city of David.

A sermon of St Quodvultdeus
Even before they learn to speak, they proclaim Christ
A tiny child is born, who is a great king. Wise men are led to him from afar. They come to adore one who lies in a manger and yet reigns in heaven and on earth. When they tell of one who is born a king, Herod is disturbed. To save his kingdom he resolves to kill him, though if he would have faith in the child, he himself would reign in peace in this life and for ever in the life to come.
  Why are you afraid, Herod, when you hear of the birth of a king? He does not come to drive you out, but to conquer the devil. But because you do not understand this you are disturbed and in a rage, and to destroy one child whom you seek, you show your cruelty in the death of so many children.
  You are not restrained by the love of weeping mothers or fathers mourning the deaths of their sons, nor by the cries and sobs of the children. You destroy those who are tiny in body because fear is destroying your heart. You imagine that if you accomplish your desire you can prolong your own life, though you are seeking to kill Life himself.
  Yet your throne is threatened by the source of grace, so small, yet so great, who is lying in the manger. He is using you, all unaware of it, to work out his own purposes freeing souls from captivity to the devil. He has taken up the sons of the enemy into the ranks of God’s adopted children.
  The children die for Christ, though they do not know it. The parents mourn for the death of martyrs. The child makes of those as yet unable to speak fit witnesses to himself. See the kind of kingdom that is his, coming as he did in order to be this kind of king. See how the deliverer is already working deliverance, the saviour already working salvation.
  But you, Herod, do not know this and are disturbed and furious. While you vent your fury against the child, you are already paying him homage, and do not know it.
  How great a gift of grace is here! To what merits of their own do the children owe this kind of victory? They cannot speak, yet they bear witness to Christ. They cannot use their limbs to engage in battle, yet already they bear off the palm of victory.
Responsory       
They worshipped him who lives for ever and ever, and laid their crowns before the throne of the Lord their God.
They fell on their faces before the throne, and blessed him who lives for ever and ever, and laid their crowns before the throne of the Lord their God.

2 comments:

Luciano said...

Vox..what me worry about the slaughter of the innocents...according to Holywood celebrity priest Rosica..we have a great PM who has shown courageous leadership..all is well right?

viterbo said...

"I dare say that St. Stephen would be scandalised by the Church of Christ's refusal to speak truth to the Jews today."

I reckon St Stephan would recognise that a whole institution refusing to speak the truth to the Jews, was not Christ's Church.