Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Holy Innocents

For those of you who read this blog and are not Catholic, today is the feast day of the "Holy Innocents".  As the Gospel of Matthew goes, when King Herod learned from the Magi that the king of the Jews had been born...he got a little worried!  Clearly, he didn't want to lose his power to another king, so, he ordered the killing of all the children of Bethlehem up to the age of two in hopes of getting rid of this New Born King.

According to the Church, these children were declared martyrs because they died for Jesus Christ.

Frankly, this has always been a portion of Holy Scripture that I avoid.  Can you imagine the horror that these mothers went through?  What a scene of carnage it must have been.  The painting below gives me a vision of what that day might have been like. 

I think it goes to show, even back then, just how threatened people were by Jesus.  Some days, I don't think much has changed.  Nowadays, there is an attitude of know...if you don't talk about Him...don't make a big deal about Him....or just completely ignore Him...then He really doesn't exist....right?  Didn't humankind learn anything from past history?

You can take the name of Christ out of anything you of our currency, out of the celebration of his birth, out of Federal buildings, out of the Pledge.....but it doesn't change His existence.  It doesn't change who He is.  It doesn't change His Majesty or His Holiness.  God is who He is...the Creator of everything and everyone.  Deny Him all you want, it isn't going to get you anywhere.....literally.

The painter is Andrea Delitio, an Italian Renaissance artist.  They say he was born in Abruzzo, Italy...although there is some debate.  The painting lives in the Basilica of Santa Maria Assunta and it is said that it was completed in 1481.

In the bottom center of the painting, there is a mother with her dead child in her lap.  She is looking up into the heavens with her hands to her chest.  She looks to be pleading with heaven....asking "Why?"
At 46 years old, I still do not understand why God allows certain things to happen to people....especially to the innocent.

In 2011, I lost 6 friends to cancer.  Why?  Why did they die and why was I allowed to live?  There are so many jerks in this many evil people.  Why do the good ones get cancer and not them?  Doesn't it make sense to rid the world of evil and allow those loving, Godly people to live long, happy, disease free lives? 

I'm so tired of it all.  Seriously.  Why does there have to be martyrs?  Why can't we all be Saints?


Sarah Oldham said...

Well, the best I can explain it is this story I've heard about a man, his son, and another boy in a fishing boat. There are variations to the story, but I think you'll understand.

These three were fishing and a storm came upon them, capsizing the boat. The man was a good swimmer, but could only save one of the boys from the current taking them under, because both boys did not know how to swim. He looked at his son and his son said, "Dad, save my friend - he doesn't know Jesus yet - buy him the time to get to know Our Lord!" So, the man grabbed the "unsaved" boy and said farewell to his son.

I guess, the ugly folks just need more time and graces to get them to Jesus, Whom we all get to meet in the end, but not all will get to stay with.

I love you, sweetie. Righteous anger is a good thing - but do try and let God handle what you don't understand. It helps me, so I hope it helps you.

Therese said...

I like Sarah's story.

I also think that people that are evil bring on themselves a lot of suffering. Their choices make them suffer.

Kari said...

Nancy- I started out the year by attending one funeral a month for the first three months. As I type this, another good friend is suffering horribly with cancer and may not pull through. I know a lot of what you are struggling with. The sadness at their suffering, and the overwhelming fear that I will be next, paralyzes me at times.

I pray and pray and pray. I think I am starting to truly understand that suffering is necessary in life. It is redemptive and it draws us closer to Christ. We cannot avoid it and so, must offer it up for those most in need and we must learn to trust that God will use our struggles for good.

I think trust is the key, and though I am still not "there" as I should be, I am learning. I pray you will be led to greater peace and trust and will be brought so close to Jesus you cannot help but feel His love surrounding you.

Know that your friends who left this life in 2011 are (hopefully) in the arms of their Lord. Those that are in the grip of evil in this life, may never be so blessed.

Best wishes for a better 2012!

Colleen said...

I don't have answers. Only the confidence that God is with us and God brings good out of bad. Hugs.