“Rise, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there till I tell you; for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him.” (Matthew 2:13)
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 assuming kings are only born in palaces. That was how Herod got to know about Jesus. He couldn’t stomach the existence of another king alive when he was still king.
There is a Herod that lives in every human being; it is called “ego”, it wants to reign, to dominate, to be worshipped by all means even to the detriment of others. The Herod in you wants to hold on to power not minding how many lives would be lost. The Herod in you is ready to eliminate, kill, and destroy others so long as it advances your self-interest.
How often have I felt so threatened by the success of others to the extent of doing all in my power to pull them down, get them out of the way, or outrightly eliminate them? What actions do I take to remain in power? As our first reading asserts, if we claim we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves but if we confess our sins, God is faithful and just and will forgive our sins.
Repent. Let others shine. What belongs to you can never pass you by. Pulling others down, defaming people’s character, or blackmailing 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. If Jesus wasn’t born, I guess none of us would have been alive today.
Let us pray: Lord Jesus, free me from the spirit of Herod. Amen.
Bible Study: 1 John 1:5-2:2, Ps. 124:2-5,7-8, Matthew 2:13-18).