So young, so small that they had barely begun to know that they were when they died in place of Christ. They died to save the one who would die to save them. The first martyrs, the Holy Innocents, who we remember this day.
There is almost nothing that I enjoy more than being surprised by a thought. And Fulton Sheen can do that on a regular basis it seems. Today was one of those times were I read something and just sat back and said, “Wow.”
Happy Catholic (yes, one of my daily readings) had this quote:
There is anguish for us, twenty centuries later, in thinking of the slain babies and their parents. for the babies the agony was soon over; in the next world they would come to know whom they had died to save and for all eternity would have that glory. For the parents, the pain would have lasted longer; but at death they too must have found that there was a special sense in which God was in their debt, as he had never been indebted to any. They and their children were the only ones who ever agonized in order to save God’s life …(F. J. Sheed, To Know Christ Jesus)
I have often wondered how Mary and Joesph felt as they fled ahead of the slaughter. What did they think? Did they know what was about to happen? These would have been their neighbors, the little babies they had seen growing up, the toddlers their own son had played with. No wonder the “Flight to Egypt” is one of the Seven Sorrows of Mary. Even though they escaped the anger and rage of Herod there were those who died in Jesus place. The sorrow when they learned of the massacre must have been horrible.