Saturday, December 15, 2012

Holy Innocents in Connecticut

Keep Today as a Holy Day

Holy Innocents! Is is a very holy day in the Church Calendar and comes only three days after Christmas. This year Holy Innocents came early to folks in Sandy Hook, Connecticut. The day marks the time when Herod called for the death of the children. Herod suffered from paranoia. He feared that Jesus would become King of the Jews. So he ordered the murder of all the male children in Judea under the age of two.

Mental illness struck again just yesterday in Sandy Hook in an elementary school, and left 20 children, 7 adults and the killer all dead. 

"How can anyone take away our angels?" A Lament is raised to heaven. We join with those who refuse to be consoled.

Then was fulfilled what had been spoken through the prophet Jeremiah: 
‘A voice was heard in Ramah,
   wailing and loud lamentation,
Rachel weeping for her children;
   she refused to be consoled, because they are no more.’
~Jeremiah 31:15

There is plenty of time to debate the next steps to bring this madness under some kind of control

But for now, we weep. Weeping and loud lamentation to God and to our countrymen. 

And we keep this day as a Holy Day for our children.

There is no consolation for those whose tears drench their homes.
Holy Innocents!

There is only this. God knows what it is like to loose a Child. 
He was born in a Manger in Bethlehem. 
He brought us hope, healing, forgiveness and eternal life.
But of course he died.
Again the Powers and Principalities of this present evil did their work.
The Holy Innocent was put up on the cross for all of us to see. 

He changed our lives and so shall these sweet ones.
Is there any comfort for us?
There is only this. God knows what it is like to loose a Child.

Mary takes him in her arms.
Drop, drop slow tears.

We shall weep, wail and lament.
But we shall not despair.
These Holy Innocents shall not have died in vain.

We will be back soon.
And when we return, we shall require an answer!
There is eternal life and we shall continue our work.

In the meantime let there be a blessing of protection on the Children we love. 
And may God take the angels into his arms and wipe the tears from their faces.
And may God take us too in his arms and be with us in our sorrow.

And let us all keep Holy Day for these Holy Innocents.

Fr. Paul


John said...

Thank you, Paul. I too commented on Holy Innocents yesterday on Facebook. It has come early this year. Humbly, I wish to suggest that we cannot wait to begin the discussion. Every single time that something like this happens, we are told that "Now is not the time to have this conversation." Then, we all forget. Then, the conversation is never conducted. If not now, then when?

"Fr. Paul" Bresnahan said...

Thank you, John,
You are absolutely right. My bishop has asked that we refrain from the debate until Monday. I cannot wait that long. I will wait until after services tomorrow. I am grateful to have found your blog. I am especially grateful to have found the Eucharistic Prayer at a time of Tragedy. I plan to use it with your permission as a way of keeping faith with those who weep and wail this night. Then...we'll come out of the box with vigorous debate, because I, like you, can wait no longer. Peace be with you. Paul

Tim said...

This is so eloquent. God didnt bless me with the ability to beautifully use words in a time of torn emotions. Thank you for hopefully making a connection with those who may have read this.

(Rom 1:16)

Shirley Bowen said...

I would love to see the Eucharistic Prayer in Time of Tragedy. Where is this available?

"Fr. Paul" Bresnahan said...

Hi Shirley, Go to the Diocese of Connecticut website and click on liturgical resources link. There you will find the Eucharistic prayer at a time of National Tragedy

Shirley Bowen said...

Thanks so much!

"Fr. Paul" Bresnahan said...

Thank you Tim. I cannot get their faces out of my mind. I do not want to. It is 4:07 am. I am keeping holy time with the children and their families