05 January 2011

A liturgical downer

In advent, we spend four weeks looking forward to the coming of Christ - both his first coming and the second coming. We look forward to the hope brought by Christmas and anticipate as well the final coming of Christ when everything will be made right. And then Christmas comes, and it is a large celebration - for Christ has come to earth!!!!

And then on 28 december, it's the feast day of the 'death of the innocents.' In the glow of the great celebration of Christmas, we are forced to focus on the fact that Herod, in his attempt to thwart Jesus' kingship on earth, kills all the young boys in a region. A liturgical 'downer' is how I'd put it. While still in the midst of the height of the celebration of Christ coming to earth and making all things right, we are blatantly confronted with sin and the hostile actions of the world.

So what do we do with this day? Does this remembrance of the 'death of the innocents' tarnish our celebration? Or does it remind us that Christ's coming is also the continuation of a struggle between good and evil, with evil still fighting hard? Or?

I'm not entirely sure what the answer is. I simply know that the church has chosen this day to remember, and that in itself makes it fitting to do so.

For practical thoughts on how to remember this day, Sr. Edith on her blog dwells on who the holy innocents today are, questioning whether society in general marginalizes children and the damage this causes.

1 comment:

Kim said...

what a cool article!