The Holy Innocents

The Holy Innocents

1 Jn 1:5-2:2, Ps 123:2-5,7-8, Mt 2:13-18
The Feast of the Holy Innocents is a powerful reminder of the great challenge the Incarnation presents to the world. Christ is the light of the world, a source of great hope and joy, but to people like Herod who prefer the powers of darkness, the Incarnation is a source of great fear. We might look back on a character like King Herod and find it hard to believe how anyone could do something of such unspeakable evil. Yet if we look around the world today, there are a number of respected academics, people like Peter Singer and Michael Tooley, who believe that killing infants can be justified. The reason they can get away with holding such views is because of their relevance to the abortion debate. In his book ‘The ethics of Abortion,’ Christopher Kaczor argues that it is difficult to defend abortion without defending infanticide. Therefore, those who believe that abortion is morally permissible may have more in common with King Herod than they would like to admit.Being totally against abortion doesn’t mean that we should be insensitive to the serious difficulties many pregnant women find themselves in. The irony of the ‘pro-choice’ label is that many women who have abortions feel they have no choice. But because Christ came into the world to save us, the saying ‘you’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t’ no longer applies. Through the grace of Christ, we always have the power to choose what is holy and good. The Holy Innocents are witnesses to Christ’s power to overcome darkness, a power that filled people like Herod with fear, but for those of us who believe, a power that fills us with hope and joy. Let us therefore pray that through the intercession of the Holy Innocents, all pregnant women may receive the grace to become loving mothers, that the unborn may receive every protection, and that there will be an end to all abortions.

Robert Verrill OP

fr Robert Verrill  lives in the Dominican Priory in Cambridge, where he works at the University chaplaincy while completing a Doctorate at Baylor University, Texas.