28 December, 2017: The Righteous and the Unrighteous

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Feast of the Holy Innocents

Reading: 1 Jn. 1. 5 – 2. 2; Gospel: Matthew 2: 13-18

Today’s Gospel presents us with two strikingly opposite characters: Joseph and Herod – the righteous and the unrighteous. The Gospel of Mathew calls Joseph as righteous because he obeyed the will of God. The angel told Joseph to get up, take the child and his mother with him, escape to Egypt and stay there. The scripture testifies that Joseph got up, took the child and his mother with him, left that night for Egypt and stayed there. Joseph obeyed each and every word of the Lord and he was called as righteous. Joseph thus presents himself as a model of a good disciple.

On the other hand we have Herod – the unrighteous. He is a supreme example of to what extend a person can go when blinded by envy and greed for power. He killed infants without any mercy as he thought that the child would be a threat to his kingdom. When blinded by worldly desires, the voice of God became so feeble that one was not able to hear it. He is a king and knows that it is the will of God to send Messiah to the world. Yet he goes against the will of God by trying to kill the Messiah.

How ironical it is: the uneducated Joseph in the stable could hear God’s voice and obey it, thus making himself righteous, while the educated king in the palace, could not discern the plan of God, acted against it, making himself unrighteous. Do I willingly obey the word or try to thwart it for selfish ambitions? To which category do I belong? – Righteous or the unrighteous?

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