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Novena Prayer to St Philomena

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Prayers for Priests & Vocations

Prayers, Novena & Litany to St Anne
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Various Prayers
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Audio Files - SSPX
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Thoughts for the Week
 
 

 

Sunday in the Octave of Christmas

Thoughts for the Week - Fr R Taouk 
27th December 2015

The Magi and Their Wisdom in Seeking The Christ by Bishop Fulton Sheen

At the sight of the star they were overjoyed. When the Magi came from the East bringing gifts for the Babe, Herod the Great knew that the time had come for the birth of the King announced clearly to the Jews, and apprehended dimly in the aspirations of the Gentiles. But like all carnal-minded men, he lacked a spiritual sense, and therefore felt certain that the King would be a political one. He made inquiries as to where Christ was to be born. The chief priests and learned men told him, "At Bethlehem in Judea, for so it has been written by the Prophet". Herod said that he wanted to worship the Babe. But his actions proved that he really meant, "If this is the Messiah, I must kill Him".

When Herod saw how the astrologers had tricked him he fell into a passion, and gave orders for the massacre of all children in Bethlehem and its neighbourhood, of the age of two years or less, corresponding with the time he had ascertained from the astrologers. Herod will forever be the model of those who make inquiries about religion, but who never act rightly on the knowledge they receive. Like train announcers, they know all the stations, but never travel. Head knowledge is worthless, unless accompanied by submission of the will and right action.

Totalitarians are fond of saying that Christianity is the enemy of the State - a euphemistic way of saying an enemy of themselves. Herod was the first totalitarian to sense this; he found Christ to be his enemy before He was two years old. Could a Babe born under the earth in a cave shake potentates and kings? Could He, Who as yet had no demos or people following Him, be a dangerous enemy of democracy, the rule of the people? No mere human baby could ever provoke such violence by a State. The Czar did not fear Stalin, the son of a cobbler, when he was two years old; he did not drive the cobbler's son and his mother into exile for fear that he would one day be a menace to the world. Similarly, no swords hung over the head of the infant Hitler, nor did the government move against Mao Tse-tung while he was still in swaddling clothes because it feared that he would some day deliver China to the murderous sickle. Why then were the soldiers summoned against this Infant? It must surely have been because those who possess the spirit of the world conceal an instinctive hatred and jealousy of God Who reigns over human hearts. The hatred the second Herod would show Christ at His death had its prologue in the hatred of his father, Herod the Great, for Christ as a Babe.

Herod was fearful that He Who came to bring a Heavenly crown would steal away his own tinsel one. He pretended that he wanted to bring gifts, but the only gift he wanted to bring was death. Wicked men sometimes hide their evil designs under an appearance of religion: "I am a religious man, but ..." Men can make inquiries about Christ for two reasons, either to worship or to harm. Some would even make use of religion for their evil designs, as Herod made use of the Wise Men. Inquiries about religion do not produce the same results in all hearts. What men ask about Divinity is never as important as why they ask it.