28 Dec
Feast of the Holy Innocents
1 Jn. 1:5-2:2
Ps. 123:2-3, 4-5, 7-8
Mt. 2:13-18
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One of the great mysteries of life is why totally innocent people have to suffer an untimely death. We see it happening nearly every day. Children who are the victims of war, starvation and all kinds of violence. Today we celebrate the memory of very young children who were eliminated because of the fearful jealousy of a tyrannical king. The target of this massacre was just one Child, who was being described as a King and hence a potential rival to Herod. Herod was filled with alarm and foreboding. He did not know how to recognise the Child so he decided to kill all children in his age group living in Bethlehem. The Child, however, had already fled into Egypt. Today we remember these Innocents, all boys, who died so tragically. One can imagine the grief of their parents and families in losing their sons. The one Child who was the target of this evil act had escaped but only because his 'time had not yet come'. In due course, he too would be led like a lamb to the slaughter and die a horrible death so that we might live. Today, we especially remember the huge numbers of children who have died because of the mutual hatred and violence of their elders or who have been unjustly deprived of life, even before their birth.

Lord, help us to work together to make this world a safe and beneficial place in which our children can grow.

Eternal Father, I offer You everything I do this day; my thoughts, words, joys and sufferings. Grant that, vivified by the Holy Spirit and united to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, my life this day may be of service to You and to others. I also pray that all those preparing for marriage discover in Sacrament the source of Christ's grace for living a fithful and fruitful love. Amen.

That Christians may free themselves from the subtle forms of cultural conditioning which prevent them from recognising the dignity and rights of others

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P R A Y I N G    W I T H    T H E    C H U R C H    

INTENTION : That Christians may free themselves from the subtle forms of cultural conditioning which prevent them from recognising the dignity and rights of others

Our vocation and mission as Christians is to bring the light of Christ to the world in order to preserve the world from corruption by permeating it with the values of the Gospel. We need, ourselves, first and foremost to be enlightened by Christ. We do not generate light, we only refract, reflect and radiate. It is His light that we must cast on the world. The more transparent our lives are with the values of the Gospel, the better is the light of Christ reflected and the less we are seen.

The world in which we live is mixed with wheat and weeds. There is good and evil. Consumerism is but the logical sequence of a materialistic way of life. Spiritual values are forgotten. Our wants are made to appear as our needs and we are forced to get so immersed in the joys of this world as to forget the joys of the world to come. We are admonished to be aware lest we be trapped by these and other forms of cultural conditioning that mark this world.

Awareness is the first step to change. We pray that this awareness may help us to be delivered from the cultural conditioning that hinders and hampers our vision and prevents us from recognising the dignity and the rights of others.

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