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Saturday, December 28, 2019

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Holy Innocents

1 John 1:5—2:2
Psalm 124:2-5, 7-8
Matthew 2:13-18

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conformed to christ

Herod "ordered the massacre of all the boys two years old and under in Bethlehem." —Matthew 2:16

Each baby boy killed that morning over two-thousand years ago in Bethlehem died because he was mistaken for Jesus. The soldiers who killed the Holy Innocents in Bethlehem thought they were killing Christ, or someone who could be Jesus. To the killers, the children were indistinguishable from Christ.

The child-martyrs we call the Holy Innocents are thus a model to us. We are to bear the light of Christ in our lives to such an extent that Jesus called us "the light of the world" (Mt 5:14). May our lives be conformed to such an astonishing likeness to Jesus that the world, in a sense, might confuse us for Christ. This makes us a threat to the world just as was Jesus, and so we risk being persecuted. But "blest are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of slander against you because of" Jesus (Mt 5:11).

"I beg you through the mercy of God to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice holy and acceptable to God, your spiritual worship. Do not conform yourselves to this age but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, so that you may judge what is God's will, what is good, pleasing and perfect" (Rm 12:1-2).

Prayer:  Father, mold me and fashion me into the image of Jesus.

Promise:  "Our help is in the name of the Lord, Who made heaven and earth." —Ps 124:8

Praise:  Jesus said, "My kingdom does not belong to this world" (Jn 18:36). In retrospect, King Herod should not have been threatened by the Holy Innocents. Thank You, Father, for protecting Jesus, Your Son through these blessed, innocent children.

Reference:  (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)

(As the New Year approaches don't forget the Lord in your resolutions. Plan to spend time at our retreat center in beautiful Adams County, Ohio. Visit our website

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, April 2, 2019

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