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1 John 1:5—2:2; Matthew 2:13-18

‘A voice was heard in Ramah,
wailing and loud lamentation,
Rachel weeping for her children;
she refused to be consoled, because they are no more.’

“Herod!” says the Office of Readings, “you slay those little ones because fear in your heart slays you.”  It was a penetrating psychological insight from an early Christian writer.  Aggression is a manifestation of fear.  But how is it that it looks just the opposite of fear?  Why, because it is the repression of fear.  If a person has not faced his own fear he will project it onto others and fight it there.  If he hasn’t fought the war within he will fight it without.  And of course (because it is all about fear) he will pick the easiest target.  Even school children discover it: deep down, bullies are cowards.

God help the innocent who become victims of the psychological twists of other people.  God help the many millions of war victims throughout the world.

But the Christian spirit is not one of fear (2 Tim 1:7).  Instead we are to draw courage from the suffering of those who went before.  St John Chrysostom wrote, “At the birth of Christ you see a tyrant raging, a flight ensuing, and a departure into exile.  It was because of no crime that his family was exiled into the land of Egypt.  Similarly, you yourself need not be troubled if you are suffering countless dangers. Do not expect to be celebrated or crowned promptly for your troubles. Instead you may keep in mind the long-suffering example of the mother of the Child, bearing all things nobly, knowing that such a fugitive life is consistent with the ordering of spiritual things.”

By Donagh O’Shea

Pope Francis Twitter Feed

* Our Way of Life *

 

"Our diverse talents and abilities, our differences in culture, nationality and age are assets for the richness of the community. Although we may be engaged in a variety of ministries, we all share the common call to apostolic discipleship in a community of the Catholic Apostolate of St. Vincent Pallotti."(OWL, 91)

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"Christ, the Apostle of the Eternal Father, and his mission are central to our personal and community life, giving meaning and direction to our thinking, our spirituality, our prayer, action and suffering." (OWL, 19)

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"As a community of disciples we are gathered around Jesus, the Apostle of the Eternal Father. Like the first disciples, we want to be with Jesus, be sent out by him and return to him to evaluate our service in the light of his presence." (OWL, 88)

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"Our relationships with one another should be marked by a love that bears all, believes all and hopes for all, a love that is neither conceited nor jealous, which hurts no one, nor is embittered or resentful. It is never discouraged but remains patient and kind. It rejoices with others and shares their suffering. It is with this kind of love that we should help and support one another." (OWL, 90)