NOTE: All reflections throughout the Advent and Christmas season will be available on our homepage and then archived on our Advent-Christmas 2022 webpage.
The reflection below is from Vickie Machado from the 2020 Advent reflection booklet, I Say to You: Watch! Reflections for Advent and Christmas 2020.
by Vickie Machado
When the magi had departed, behold, the angel of God appeared to Joseph in a dream & said, “Rise, take the child & his mother, flee to Egypt, & stay there until I tell you.
Herod is going to search for the child to destroy him.” (Mt 2:13)
In pursuit of one child, Herod massacred all of the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity. Mothers and fathers lost their children. Sisters and brothers lost their siblings. Grandparents lost their grandchildren. All of this loss was due to unjust orders that targeted a particular demographic—the search for one baby boy.
Years later, we still live in a world that perpetuates unwarranted loss as families continue to lose children at the hands of injustice. It is important to recognize that every person killed at the hands of an unjust system has a network of loved ones to which they are bound. They have parents, siblings, partners, and people who care deeply for them. Immigrants facing treacherous crossings at the border and harsh detention centers, incarcerated people on death row, and young men and women of color who are shot by police all have mothers and fathers. Each and every one of these individuals belongs to someone, just as Jesus belonged to Joseph and Mary.
On this day as we recognize the Feast of the Holy Innocents, think about how many lives have been lost because a person ‘fit the bill’—because they looked a certain way. Remember that we are our brothers and sisters keepers and most importantly, remember that we are each a child of God. We belong to our Creator and it is not within anyone’s right to take that from us.
Continue to say the names of those whose lives are cut short at the hands of injustice. Recognize we are all someone’s child and think about what actions
you can take to ensure that we stop the cycles of violence that continue to
take lives and break apart families.
>> For more Advent resources and reflections, click here.