Monday, December 17, 2012

Sandy Hook Massacre & The Holy Innocent


Children light candles to pay their respects to the victims of the Newtown, Connecticut
CNN U.S. 17 December 2012

During this Sacred Season, Christians are preparing to celebrate the miracle of the birth of our Saviour, Jesus Christ. It is a time of great joy and awe. But for the families of 20 children and 6 school personnel, there is no laughter or anticipation of having a merry Christmas. Funeral arrangements are ongoing for those who had been murdered on December 15th in the sleepy town of Newtown, Connecticut.

In Sandy Hook Elementary School, mere babies, 8 boys..12 girls -all first graders, died at the ruthless hands of a madman. It brings to mind the Biblical event of the Slaughter of the Holy Innocent.  We don't often think about this historical event when we think of Christmas.

Matthew 2:1-18 tells this story: Herod was “greatly troubled” when astrologers from the east came asking the whereabouts of “the newborn king of the Jews,” whose star they had seen. They were told that the Jewish Scriptures named Bethlehem as the place where the Messiah would be born. Herod cunningly told them to report back to him so that he could also “do him homage.” They found Jesus, offered him their gifts and, warned by an angel, avoided Herod on their way home. Jesus escaped to Egypt.
Fran├žois-Joseph Navez,
The massacre of the innocents, 1824
Herod became furious and “ordered the massacre of all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity two years old and under.” The horror of the massacre and the devastation of the mothers and fathers led Matthew to quote Jeremiah: “A voice was heard in Ramah, sobbing and loud lamentation; Rachel weeping for her children...” (Matthew 2:18). Rachel was the wife of Jacob/Israel. She is pictured as weeping at the place where the Israelites were herded together by the conquering Assyrians for their march into captivity.  Feast of the Holy Innocent at Americancatholic.org. The memory of these innocent babes is celebrated on December 28th.

As with most top-shelf news, the coverage is 24/7. Old facts are rehashed, new facts discovered and doled out to the public. Such tragedy will never make sense, no matter what angle the experts give. Gun-control and reform is bandied about once again.  The state of our mental health programs is scrutinized. School safety is tightened. Church pews are filled, for a short time, as they always are when a tragedy occurs. Where was God when the children were gunned down, we ask? Aren't our Guardian Angels suppose to protect us from such happenings?

I cannot imagine what the parents, loved ones, friends of those who were massacred on Friday are going through. I cannot imagine the guilt felt by those whose children survived. It must be akin to the guilt the Blessed Mother, Mary, felt when she fled into the night to save her child, the Messiah. The anguish is unimaginable.

We live in a Godless society. When we had prayer in school, it made us more aware that HE was watching what we did throughout the school day. We answered to a Higher Power. In the fifties, the two worst things a student endured were....being reprimanded for talking in class and getting caught chewing gum. We've come a long way, baby...& not for the better.

Does abortion have a rippling effect on society? If a mother can murder her own child in the one place a baby should be the safest, her womb, then why would her other children, knowing about the abortion, uphold the sanctity of life? When life is no longer dear to us....it is easy to snuff it out.

Where was God's invitation to the Democratic Convention? Imagine...He, the Creator of Life and All Good, had to be voted in to be part of this important political event. Gift baskets made by the loving hands of local church goers were refused because....their values didn't jive with those of the hosting party. Yikes!!

When the president of these United States was a senator, he was asked to support the Born Alive Infant Protection Act. It is a bill stating that should an infant survive a "botched" abortion, that baby had the right to immediate medical care. He opposed it in committee, and then went on to be the sole senator to speak against this bill on the Senate floor, not once, but two years in a row. It's heart-wrenching that breathing, helpless human beings were placed in the trash, covered with a lid and left to die. It is shocking that anyone would hesitate to defend a struggling-to-survive infant. Actions, such as this, promote a Culture of Death.

Despite my conservative beliefs, I don't blame one particular political party, religion or special interest group for our moral and social decay. The blame lies on each of us when we glamorize death, destruction & Goth mentality.  The bloodier the movie, the better the box office sales. The more violent the video game, the more popular it is. In the minds and hands of an unhinged person....this is a dangerous cocktail. It is a bitter drink we all taste. Shame on anyone who knows a child is being bullied, knows a person needs psychological help, but remains silent because "it's not our business" or "there might be a confrontation". Shame on us if we don't protest against violence or disturbing behavior because modern thinkers believe it has a right to exist. Shame on us if we don't protect the most vulnerable.

Perhaps, if  the Adam Lanzas of the world are confronted and helped, the bullies tattled on, incidents that took place in Sandy Hook, Columbine and Aurora will cease. Children will celebrate birthdays, experience their first kiss, and hold their own infant in their arms if we pray to the Great Physician to heal our nation because our actions are honorable. If we uphold the sanctity of life, our world will be blessed and the next Slaughter of the Innocent will remain between the dusty pages of a history book.

        Please pray for those in Newtown & all who have experienced violence