Fourth Sunday of Advent, 2013

Thus says the LORD:“A voice is heard in Ramah, lamentation and bitter weeping. Rachel is weeping for her children;she refuses to be comforted for her children,because they are not.” (Jeremiah 31:15)

Then Herod, when he saw that he had been tricked by the Wise Men, was in a furious rage, and he sent and killed all the male children in Bethlehem and in all that region who were two years old or under, according to the time which he had ascertained from the Wise Men. Then was fulfilled what was spoken by the prophet Jeremiah: “A voice was heard in Ramah, wailing and loud lamentation, Rachel weeping for her children; she refused to be consoled, because they were no more.” (Matthew 2:16-18)

Rachel is the second wife of Jacob.  Remember that the Lord changes Jacob’s name to Israel, and he is the father of the 12 tribes (of Israel).  Jeremiah uses Rachel as a symbol, as the mother of the 12 tribes of Israel. She is not just weeping but “bitter weeping” for her children who have been murdered.  It may seam odd, strange, even morbid to associate the death of these children (known by the Church as the Holy Innocents) with the birth of Jesus, but it is necessary (from one point of view).  Jesus did not come into the world to be a cute baby or a holy person.  Jesus is the Son of God, and he is the King of Kings, the eternal ruler and judge of all humanity.  There were people 2000 years ago who did not want to allow or acknowledge this, and well as people today.

So who does Rachel weep for, the Holy Innocents who The Lord has brought to heaven, or the people who do not recognize Jesus as the Son of God?