“If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not live according to the truth.”(1 John 1:6)
Today we remember the Holy Innocents; the children who were slaughtered by Herod in an attempt to kill the baby, Jesus. When the wise men were being led by the star to the newly born king, they mistakenly went to the Palace. That was how Herod got to know about Jesus. He couldn’t stomach the existence of another king alive when he was still king.
Herod instructed the wise men to find out about the child and return news to him so that he too could go and do the child homage. This was a trick. He wanted by all means to eliminate the child. The wise men never returned to Herod. After waiting two whole years, Herod, in a rage, gave a command for the killing of all the male children two years old and younger. Herod did not know that Jesus had not come to compete for earthly power.
There is a Herod that lives in us; it is called our “ego”. It wants to reign, to be number one, to pull others down. It wants to be worshipped by all means. It is ready to eliminate, to kill and destroy others so long as it advances our self-interest. How often have you felt threatened by the success of others to the extent of that you find yourself speaking ill of them, spreading false tales and even trying to eliminate them?
If we were to be very sincere with ourselves, we would realize that are guilty of even worse crimes than that of Herod. Our first reading today teaches us: “If we say we have fellowship with God, while we hate our fellow brothers and sisters and seek to pull them down, we are just deceiving ourselves.”
Repent. Let others shine. What belongs to you can never pass you by. Defaming people’s characters or blackmailing them just to look good will not get you far. In the end, no matter how hard you try, you can never stop anyone from achieving their God-given potentials just as Herod could not stop Jesus.
The death of the Holy innocents casts a dark shadow on our Christmas celebration. It gives us a glimpse of the darkness that so filled the earth before Christ’s birth brought light to the world. It also gives us a glimpse of what life on earth would have been if Jesus had not brought salvation.
As to why God allowed these children to die instead of giving Herod a knock, we do not know, we cannot question God’s ways. All we know is that we serve a God who will always protect us by warning us ahead of danger just as He did by sending an Angel to warn Joseph.
Let us pray: Lord Jesus, free me from the spirit of Herod. Amen.
Bible Study: 1st John 1:5-2:2. Psalm 124 & Matthew 2:13-18)