CHRISTMAS, Feast of the Holy Innocents, martyrs

“My children, I am writing this to you so that you may not commit sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous one.” (1 John 2:1.)

Saint Gregory of Nazianzus reflects on this verse from today’s First Reading:

“We have an advocate, Jesus Christ, not indeed someone who prostrates himself before the Father on our behalf—such an idea is slavish and unworthy of the Spirit! It would be unworthy of the Father to require this, as also for the Son to submit to it, nor is it right to think such things of God. But by what he suffered as man, he as the Word and counselor persuades the Father to be patient with us. I think this is the meaning of his advocacy.” (Theological Oration 30)

O God,
Whom the Holy Innocents confessed
and proclaimed on this day,
not by speaking but by dying,
grant, we pray,
that the faith in You
which we confess with our lips
may also speak through our manner of life.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son,
who lives and reigns with You
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

Glory to the Father
and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning,
is now, and will be forever. Amen