Liturgical Colour : Red
Jealousy and greed for power, as well as the fear of losing it, are just a few of the evil afflictions that affect mankind, and which many of us had succumbed to, many, many times. These evil afflictions affect us, because we have been made vulnerable to them, ever since our ancestors opened the way to sin through their disobedience to the Lord.
Today, as we continue into the Christmas season, and continue with the festivities and revelries, and all the joy and happiness that we have among us, all the gift exchanges and partying, we must not remember a great tragedy which we all remember on this day, that is the Feast of the Holy Innocents, a great tragedy that is filled with sorrow and wickedness of mankind.
On this day, we remember the great and merciless slaughter of the innocent infants of Bethlehem, the city of David, where our Lord Jesus was born. King Herod the Great, the then Roman appointed King of Israel and Judea, was so fearful and jealous of the authority and power of the promised King of Israel, the true King of kings, Jesus the Messiah, that he resolved to kill this Messiah, before the kingdom that was his is usurped from him.
You can clearly see this king’s hubris, jealousy and arrogance, that even though he knew about the coming of the Messiah, he was unwilling to part with his own authority and power and give it to the coming King. He was foolish and short-sighted, one which certainly brought him down to the deepest depth of hell. You see what desperation, fear, and wickedness can bring to men.
Yes, they brought downfall to man, and they bring nothing but death and destruction. And it is often that the innocent ones are the ones to suffer, such as what happened in Bethlehem. One may ask why God did not intervene in the case of what has happened, but indeed, if we look at it again, God gave everyone a free will to follow what he thinks is best to be done. One can choose to follow the Lord and be righteous, or give in to their human vulnerabilities and embrace what is evil and wicked.
And those infants were innocent, and Herod massacred them in order to ensure the continuation of his own power and authority. He took the quick way out of problems, and did not regard even the sanctity of human lives. Those innocent infants also deserved to live. They therefore, were holy martyrs of the faith by the virtue of their innocence. They were the victims of humanity’s disdain for the sanctity of life.
Today we all remember these Holy Innocents, whose massacre is a reality amidst the joy and the festivities surrounding Christmas. And that is why we have to always remember that Christmas is about life. Yes, the sanctity of life, which is also often under attack in today’s society, especially by those championing for the culture of death.
That is right, on this day, on this era, thousands of even unborn infants or more are being killed on daily basis. You all know about the controversy, and the voices crying out for and against the practice of abortion. It is sad indeed, that even among us who believe in the Lord, the source of life, even some of us agree, or participate in the killing of the innocents, either by our actions or by our silence.
Hence, brothers and sisters in Christ, as we celebrate Christmas, never forget that we have to celebrate life, and we cannot forget about the massacre of the innocents that had happened, and what is happening even now. Life is sacred, brethren, as is it not Jesus who came into this world that we may have life eternal. We cannot profess to be Christians and yet treat life as something trivial. It is a gift from God to all of us.
May the Lord therefore continue to inflame in us, the love for Him, as well as the love for all of God’s creations, treating with honour everyone, even to the least of all, the poorest of all, and the weakest of all, to the smallest of infants. God bless us all. Amen.