Thought of the day
Wednesday, December 28, 2016

The Holy Innocents, martyrs - Feast

Eusebius the Gallican (5th century), monk, then Bishop Sermon 219 ; PL 39, 2150

The Holy Innocents, martyrs - Feast

Commentary of the day 

Eusebius the Gallican (5th century), monk, then Bishop Sermon 219 ; PL 39, 2150

"Where is the newborn king of the Jews?" (Mt 2,2)

Herod, the traitor king, having been deceived by the magi, sent his henchmen to Bethlehem and the surrounding countryside to kill the children of two years old and under... But you have gained nothing by it, you cruel and arrogant barbarian! You can make martyrs but you cannot find Christ. This unhappy tyrant thought that the Lord our Savior's coming would topple him from his royal throne. But it was not so. Christ did not come to take over another's glory but to make a gift to us of his own. He did not come to take hold of an earthly kingdom but to bestow the Kingdom of heaven. He did not come to steal honors but to endure injuries and abuse. He did not come to prepare his sacred head for a jewelled diadem but for a crown of thorns. He did not come to take his seat gloriously above sceptres but to be mocked and crucified.

At the Lord's birth “Herod was troubled and all Jerusalem with him” (Mt 2,3). What is there to wonder at if impiousness is disturbed by the birth of goodness? Here is an armed man afraid of him who is laid in a manger; a proud king trembles before the lowly one; he who is clothed in purple fears the baby wrapped in swaddling clothes... He pretended he wanted to worship him whom he sought to have killed (Mt 2,8). But Truth is not afraid of the traps of the liar... Treachery cannot discover Christ, since not by cruelty but by faith is God to be sought, who lives and reigns for ever and ever. Amen.