Magazine article U.S. Catholic

The Massacre of the Innocents. (Meditation)

Magazine article U.S. Catholic

The Massacre of the Innocents. (Meditation)

Article excerpt

IT WAS NOT ESPECIALLY PRETTY, the world into which Jesus was born. The Palestine of Jesus' day was a world of grinding poverty for the masses, hard labor for a daily pittance, and brutal military occupiers whose preferred method of crowd control was crucifixion for all who dared to rise up and resist. Nor was the town of Jesus' birth especially peaceful. The Bethlehem into which Jesus was born would soon know the terrifying clank of military steel, the blood-curdling shrieks of children slashed to death by Roman soldiers "just doing their job," and the heart-rending cries of anguished, inconsolable mothers.

Today the picture looks strangely similar. Palestine suffers massive unemployment and poverty. And Bethlehem knows too well the sounds and scenes of war: the menacing drone of helicopter gunships operated by soldiers "just doing their duty"; the horrifying boom of tanks that send shells smashing through ordinary houses, fill children's beds with glass shards, and turn civilians into refugees without homes; the screams of children; the anguish of Palestinian parents incapable of protecting their little ones from the ongoing terror. …

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