Sunday, December 23, 2012

The Innocents...All of Them

Deacon Ray's homily at this morning's Mass was largely given over to the Newtown shootings in which 20 children were murdered by a crazed young man. He tried to make a connection between that and the Scripture readings of the Visitation -- Mary hastening to see her cousin Elizabeth, who was pregnant with John the Baptist.

Deacon Ray said that, perhaps, the nation has reached a "tipping point" regarding these types of murders, though he did not go much further than mentioning it and something about mental health issues. He correlated the readings with the tragedy by assuring us God is love, and love is over all.

Yesterday, I read an insightful article from author Mark Steyn about the "other" children of the Christmas Story. Here is a snippet:

As Matthew tells it, even in a story of miraculous birth, in the midst of life is death. The Massacre of the Innocents loomed large over the Christian imagination: In Rubens's two renderings, he fills the canvas with spear-wielding killers, wailing mothers, and dead babies, a snapshot, one assumes, of the vaster, bloodier body count beyond the frame. Then a century ago the Catholic Encyclopedia started digging into the numbers. The estimated population of Bethlehem at that time was around a thousand, which would put the toll of first-born sons under the age of two murdered by King Herod at approximately 20 — or about the same number of dead children as one school shooting on a December morning in Connecticut. (My emphasis)

The article is quite pointed and not for young children, but is a thought-provoking read. Also, I received an email from my friend, Mary, a day or so ago. An idea has been going around:

"Go to your nearest Catholic church. Ask for a mass to be offered for the intentions of the Community of Newtown, CT. Then mail the mass-card to St. Rose of Lima Church, 46 Church Hill Rd., Newtown, CT 06470. Wouldn’t it be great, if over the course of time, St. Rose of Lima Church received mass-cards from Christians praying for them from around the world?"

And while we are praying for all those involved in the tragedy at Newtown, please remember the other Innocents who have died -- over 50 million unborn babies have been aborted in the United States of America. One of my prayers is that our parish begins to focus its efforts to "enthusiastically build up the Kingdom of God" by vigorously opposing the abortion culture that currently dwells securely in our community...just down the hill from St. Mary's Church.

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