Good News for the Day, December 28, 2017
Feast of the Holy Innocents, martyrs (698)
When the notable officials (magi) had gone home—a messenger of God appeared in a dream to Joseph saying “Get up, take the child and his mother, run away to Egypt; then, stay there until I tell you. Herod will look for the child to eliminate him.” Joseph got up, took the child and his mother at night, and went off to Egypt. He stayed there until Herod died–so what God had said through the prophet might become true: Out of Egypt I called my son. When Herod realized that he had been tricked by the officials, he grew furious. He ordered the massacre of all the boys in Bethlehem and nearby places–boys two years old and under. He did this to fit the circumstances he had learned from the officials. Then there came what had been said through prophet Jeremiah: A voice was heard in Ramah, sobbing and loud lamentation; Rachel weeping for her children, and she would not be consoled, since they were no more. (Matthew 2)
There is debate among pundits and politicians these days about church and state, which is more important—a problem worthy of thought and discussion, but it is irrelevant here. The point here is not your horror, not some argument, nor a vignette of raw evil, but Good News and an inspiration for you. Yes, in your life and mine, personal, evil happens People with power to do so inflict harm on innocent people.
It may be legislation, financial harm, foul words of disrespect or contemptuous misunderstanding; racism, sexism, medical carelessness, or some prejudice aimed at you. All of us are, of course, guilty ourselves of trying to control, to think we influence others, that we can shame evil people into behaving ways we think is right.
It is, though, a matter of repentance, acknowledging evil, and—once you accept its existence—finding the Father’s way—perhaps by removing ourselves from a situation, by silence or “fleeing to Egypt” or “giving up” (for now).
The guidance and Good News is to listen to Messengers—dreams and conscience, your reflective self. God tells you how to respond to evil. Not name-calling, mockery, superiority or echoing a mob whose views you share. It is your humble repentance, care, independence, courage and shrewdness—to let God guide you.