Sunday, December 28, 2008

December 28 - The Holy Innocents


(Matthew 2:13-18)
At that time the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, "Get up, take the child and His mother and flee to Egypt, and stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to look for the child to destroy Him." Then he got up, took the child and His mother by night and went to Egypt, and was there until the death of Herod, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying, "Out of Egypt I called my Son."

When Herod saw that he had been tricked by the magi, he became enraged. He sent and slew all the male children who were in Bethlehem and throughout the surrounding region from two years old and under, according to the time which he had learned from the magi.

Then was fulfilled what was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet, saying,

"A voice was heard in Rama, lamentation and great wailing,
Rachel weeping for her children,
And she refused to be comforted, because they are no more.

(Matthew 19:13-15; 18:1-6, 10-11)
At that time little children were brought to our Lord Jesus Christ that He might put His hands on them and pray, but the disciples rebuked them. But Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me and do not stop them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven." And he placed his hands on them and went from there.

At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, "Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?" And He called a child and had him stand among them and said, "Amen, I say to you, unless you are converted and become like little children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore anyone who humbles himself like this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven; and whoever welcomes a child like this in my name welcomes me.

"But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him to have a huge millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea. Take care that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that their angels in heaven continually see the face of my Father who is in heaven; for the Son of Man has come to save that which was lost."

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