Post-feast of the Nativity of Christ; Synaxis of the Most Holy Mother of God; The Holy Priest-Martyr Euthymius, Bishop of Sardis (824)
No fasting or abstinence.
Hebrews 2:11-18; Matthew 2:13-23
Christ is born!
Although it appears to us to be only a few sentences following the birth of Our Lord, about a year has passed, and the Wise Men, having observed the star and travelling for many miles have come closer to their goal of honouring the new King. But Herod, the embodiment of selfish ambition, fears for his own power and secretly plans to have the new child murdered. When it comes to ensuring his own power, nothing will stop in the Herod’s way. In his lifetime he would kill his favourite wife and two of his own sons who he suspected of making a play for the throne. Before his death he gave orders to have another of his sons executed along with some Jewish prisoners to ensure a general state of mourning when he had died!
The Holy Innocent Children of Nazareth represent all of those who pay the price for our selfishness. There are no such things as private sins, and even if we can’t see the faces of those who we injure, we know that ultimately someone is affected by the evil that we do. These innocent children point to another Innocent Child, the True King who stands in opposition to the selfish dominion of Herod and the evil one. May we truly emulate His self-sacrifice and so live in Him, the God-who-is-with-us!