I will turn their mourning into joy; I will comfort them and give them gladness for sorrow. (Jeremiah 31:13. A New Zealand Prayer Book, p.695).
In The Rule of Saint Benedict, Chapter 4: On the Tools for Good Works, he wrote in verse 74, “And finally, never lose hope in God’s mercy.” (RB 1980, p.29).
Life is cruel at times. Life makes no sense. The are no answers for many of the horrific things that happen to us or around us. We mourn and live with sorrow when excessive violence occurs. That was certainly the scene as we recall this Commemoration of the Holy Innocents. We remember today all of the children up to 2 years old that were slaughtered. We can speculate what God may be saying to all of humankind through these things, but, unless we know the mind of God (which no one but God knows), looking for answers when there are none; will only leave us more confused.
What we do know through our faith, is that when we feel so alone with all of our unanswered questions about what happens in this world; God is drawing closer to us. God comes closer to be our consolation, to share our sorrow and to walk with us in the Incarnate Word so that we may “not lose hope in God’s mercy.” Only three days after Christmas, the Church asks us to meditate on the Holy Innocents to know that in Christ, God is present and weeps when we weep.
Among the things that happens to us when we are grieving the things we cannot wrap our minds around; all of our certainties become out of order. Through it, God turns our world view upside down and leads us to a deeper relationship with God in a mystical union of holy love and grace. Through such experiences we are able through God’s grace to contemplate ever so deeply, what God wants of us, individually and collectively.
Are we listening?
It is these who follow the Lamb wherever he goes; these have been redeemed form humanity as first fruits for God and the Lamb. (Revelation 14:4. A New Zealand Prayer Book, p.696).
Br. Anselm Philip King-Lowe, n/OSB