Dear Fathers, Brothers & Sisters in Christ,
1 John 1:5--2:2
Psalm 124:2-3, 4-5, 7cd-8
Today marks the Feast of the Holy Innocents, to recall the death ordered by Herod of all male children two and under in and around Bethlehem. One can only imagine the grief of those families when their children were murdered. The Infant Jesus was spared the horrendous fate because St. Joseph responded to an angel who had warned him in a dream to take the Child and His Mother and flee into Egypt.
The gospel accounting makes one reflect on the importance of docility and an attitude of obedience in our spiritual lives. What if St. Joseph had brushed off the angel's warning as just a "bad dream"? The gospel also helps us realize that Our Blessed Mother had those same qualities of docility and obedience. She might have doubted St. Joseph, but instead they rose in the night and fled to safety in Egypt.
Docility, in contrast to hardness of heart and a set mind, requires a spirit of openness, a willingness to be still and listen to those around us, the events in our lives and the Spirit within us. It takes a while to develop this ability to listen, hear, and discern with all the noise and confusion around us every day. Obedience flows from this docility. We know, as did St. Joseph, what we should do in a given situation. Those attributes bring with them a sense of peace, even though acting on them might be difficult at the time, just as it was for Mary and Joseph.
All you Holy Innocents, guide us!
Father Ed Bakker
Anglican Catholic Church / Original Province
Mission of Saint Aidan of Lindisfarne
Bendigo , Australia