Sunday, December 28, 2014

Collects for the Holy Innocents

O ALMIGHTY God, who out of the mouths of babes and sucklings hast ordained strength, and madest infants to glorify thee by their deaths; Mortify and kill all vices in us, and so strengthen us by thy grace, that by the innocency of our lives, and constancy of our faith even unto death, we may glorify thy holy Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

O GOD, whose praise the Innocents thy Martyrs did this day not by speaking but by dying confess: mortify all evil vices in us; that, as our tongues confess thy faith, so our lives may by their actions set forth the same. Through.

As with St Stephen, so the Holy Innocents also appear within the fires of the Feast of the Incarnation. Our Lord promises persecution for all who would dare to follow Him, or even be associated with Him. His birth is the catalyst for the hatred of man to commit atrocity and to destroy the lives of innocents, and in so doing to destroy the lives of mothers whose love for their children causes them a wound which they will carry to their grave.

As the eyes of the world turn to the deaths of children, the eyes of the Church must turn to their mothers and reach out with arms of love to hold them in their grief and suffering. The prayers of the Church for the departed must also hold close those who are left behind.

In this life, atrocities abound that try the faith of human beings in their capability to find God. The presence of atrocity in the midst of our celebrations of Jesus' birth shows all Christians that hatred and ostracising are the very opposite of Our Lord intentions, and the darkness of this world can be overcome by letting the little children come to Christ and remembering that we are all little children in His eyes.

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