I thank my friend Rob for reminding me of this day and sending Richard Rohr’s meditation Suffering For Love, that tries to make sense out of suffering I cannot even comprehend such as the Massacre of the Innocents.
I guess I need to go to seminary to understand why we have on the calendar a “Feast of the Holy Innocents.” Perhaps it is as Rohr says because we all suffer as part of life’s journey and in some way each carry our own woundedness. But it still doesn’t seem like a day that calls for a feast.
The Massacre of Innocents for me is something that defies my limited understanding and touches my heart in a way few events in history do. It’s one of the questions when I’m cheeky I ask God in prayer, “was it really necessary?”
Perhaps what touches me so much about this day of remembrance is that mass murders continue to occur and have never spared children, in fact they seem to have escalated to incredible proportions.
To our shame, our country is also guilty of massacres and for not doing more around the world. I think part of the reason why we don’t do more is that degree of hate is hard to fathom.
Sarah Fields says that “Hate is a bodyguard for grief. When people lose the hate, they are forced to deal with the pain beneath.” Maybe that is the lesson of the Massacre, that no pain is worth holding onto such hate, and that Jesus came to earth to teach us about a love that eliminates all pain.
Maybe the Massacre simply indicates what was going on in the world when Jesus came into it — a time where the massacre of innocents could and did happen. Well, as it was then, it is today, and world continues to call out for justice, peace, and the end of oppression and killings.
The love and peace of God that passes all understanding, is our only answer to the atrocities of now. We need to ask ourselves how do we bring this love and peace to the innocents and the those who would massacre.