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Simcha FisherDecember 28, 2022
crown of thorns on a dark green leafy backgroundPhoto via Unsplash.

A Reflection for the Feast of the Holy Innocents

Find today’s readings here.

Today is a hard feast day, the feast of the Holy Innocents. They are the first martyrs, whose blood became that terrible red carpet to lay before the coming king.

The responsorial psalm for feast today goes:

Our soul has been rescued like a bird from the fowler’s snare.
Had not the LORD been with us—
When men rose up against us,
then would they have swallowed us alive,
When their fury was inflamed against us.

Our soul has been rescued like a bird from the fowler’s snare.
Then would the waters have overwhelmed us;
The torrent would have swept over us;
over us then would have swept the raging waters.

Our soul has been rescued like a bird from the fowler’s snare.
Broken was the snare,
and we were freed.
Our help is in the name of the LORD,
who made heaven and earth.
Our soul has been rescued like a bird from the fowler’s snare.

I don’t know what to make of this. So many of my friends are so ensnared, so longing for rescue, so overwhelmed by the waters. What is the answer? What kind of rescue is that?

The answer does not come from Christ, our brother, who somehow allowed himself to be ensnared.

The answer is Christ.

When Christ is the answer, I don’t always understand the answer. But I do stop looking elsewhere when that is the answer I get.

What this entirely means, I do not know. When Christ is the answer, I don’t always understand the answer. But I do stop looking elsewhere when that is the answer I get.

Here is one time. I found myself caught in an old, painful memory, feeling once again some wounds and gashes that I thought had been healed. They opened again because I saw a woman going through what I had gone through many years ago—but for her, there was rescue, there were sympathetic people rushing to her aid, there was help. I survived, yes, because here I am today, but I saw myself hanging there alone at that time, and I was angry. As I walked and remembered, I cried out to the Lord, “Where was my rescue?”

He answered, “Nobody rescued me either.”

And he had a choice. He didn’t have to be there, but he put himself there, his sacred head surrounded by those thorns, that snare, that unspeakable trap of wood and nails. And that was what he was offering me: a chance to willingly be snared with him. He is the answer. I don’t know what it means, but there is no other answer. I had no choice but to suffer, at the time; but now I do have the choice to place my suffering with his. A choice to be with him.

I stop looking somewhere outside that ring of thorns. There, caught, pierced, his heart bleeds for the brokenhearted, innocent and otherwise. I place the suffering hearts of my friends inside that snare of thorns with Christ.

More: Scripture

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