December 28

Feast of the Holy Innocents

Today is the traditional Feast of the Holy Innocents, those children who according to the Gospel story were killed at the order of King Herod in order to protect his own power and domination. This slaughter continues in our own time. Powerful people earn billions protecting their own economic and political interests while children suffer and die from disease, malnutrition, trafficking and wars all over the earth. In our country the second amendment is used to protect “rights” without responsibilities. Meanwhile the nation continues to be traumatized by the slaughter of innocents through senseless violence. For political reasons children have been separated from their parents and kept in custody. Species of plants and animals are other “innocents” destroyed because of indifference or planned destruction of their needs for existence. These are all blessed innocents with a beauty and potential that will never be realized because economic and political powers do not consider their needs a priority. We may read the gospel story with appropriate horror, but where is our horror and dismay at what is happening now daily? How complicit are we through our lack of civic awareness or indifference?


O God whose compassion embraces suffering children and families, give them the strength and consolation they need and help us to find ways to free them and ourselves from the causes of ingrained violence.


Inform yourself on the political and economic causes of violence in this country. Support organizations looking for solutions that oppose them.

Suggested Reading

When Herod realized he had been deceived by the Magi, he became furious. He ordered the massacre of all the boys in Bethlehem two years old and under. 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.”

Matthew 2:13 – 16

We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear.
Nelson Mandela

There is no trust more sacred than the one the world holds with children. There is no duty more important than ensuring that their rights are respected, that their welfare is protected, that their lives are free from fear and want and that they grow up in peace.

Kofi Annan

By our readiness to allow arms to be purchased at will and fired at whim… we have created an atmosphere in which violence and hatred have become popular pastimes.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

We have cracked down on library books, cell phone calls, fertilizer purchases, and wearing shoes in the airport, but we have done almost nothing at the state level to make it harder for either a terrorist, garden variety armed robber, or young person to get their hands on a handgun.
Sarah Brady

The sexual abuse and exploitation of children is one of the most vicious crimes conceivable, a violation of mankind’s most basic duty to protect the innocent.
James T. Walsh

I’m a hunter and I believe in the Second Amendment, but I’ve never gone hunting with an AK-47
Sen. John Kerry

What we are doing to the forests of the world is but a mirror reflection of what we are doing to ourselves and to one another.
Chris Maser

The earth we abuse and the living things we kill will, in the end, take their revenge; for in exploiting their presence we are diminishing our future.
Marya Mannes

In our every deliberation, we must consider the impact of our decisions on the next seven generations.
Iroquois Maxim