See, the home of God is among mortals.
He will dwell with them as their God;
they will be his peoples,
and God himself will be with them;
he will wipe every tear from their eyes.
Death will be no more;
morning and crying and pain will be no more,
for the first things have passed away.
Close on the heels of Christmas joy comes a solemn feast, in which we recall the children slaughtered by Herod’s soldiers in his insatiable quest for power. Nowhere are the names of these innocents recorded for posterity. All we know is that the Church remembers them each year as martyrs, souls who suffered unjustly, and in that suffering made participants in the reign of God. In their brush with Immortality, the Word made flesh, they themselves were made immortal.
From life to death to life eternal, this is the pathway each of us has been called to walk. In the past year, thousands of souls have made that journey toward eternity, to experience a new kind of “Emmanuel, God is with us.” Perhaps you lost someone dear to you this year, too, and have experienced the truth of the words of Mother Teresa:
Death can be something beautiful. It is like going home. He who dies in God goes home even though we naturally miss that person who has gone. But it is something beautiful. That person has gone home to God.
Is there someone you need to release into the arms of God right now? Someone whose absence weighs upon your heart with longing and regret? Or do you know someone who is fighting this all-too-common human battle, and struggling to endure? If so, close your eyes and feel the prayers of your sisters in faith, who are praying for you right now. You are not forgotten. If not . . . please join in the prayer, for those in need of strength.
Saint Teresa of Calcutta, mother of the heartsick and suffering, pray for us.
About the Author
Heidi Hess Saxton is a Catholic wife and adoptive mother of two teenagers, and author of Advent with Saint Teresa of Calcutta and Lent with Saint Teresa of Calcutta (Servant). This year she spent Christmas with her elderly parents and sisters, who gathered in Georgia to spend one more Christmas baking cookies with their mom, who is ready to go meet Jesus. She would appreciate your prayers.
The thought of such mass misery as must have been felt throughout the country at the massacre of the holy innocents is overwhelming. The very stones must have been crying out. I pray for their mothers and for yours. Blessed Christmas
Thanks, Glenda! It is hard to imagine such a tragedy… Though innocent souls all over the world suffer every day. We must pray for them all!