Feast of the Holy Innocents, Martyrs - December 28, 2020

Posted by Team Missio on Dec 22, 2020 6:09:31 PM

Papua New Guinea

 

Embrace lives that strive to do good...  

Reflections on the readings for the Feast of the Holy Innocents (December 28, 2020): 1 JN 1:5–2:2; PS 124:2-3,4-5,7-8; MT 2:13-18   

MISSIO offers “Preaching Mission,” as a homily help, providing connections to mission from the readings of Sundays, Feast Days and Holy Days. 

The evil in the soul of Herod, the first person to threaten the life of Jesus still exists today. We must answer it with faith in our Savior, hope in His message... 

In the Gospel for this feast day commemorating the murder of the Holy Innocents, we learn that the angel of the Lord appeared once again to St. Joseph after the birth of Jesus. This time, the message reveals that King Herod has threatened the life of the Holy Child. “Joseph rose and took the child and His mother by night and departed for Egypt. He stayed there until the death of Herod, that what the Lord had said through the prophet might be fulfilled, Out of Egypt I called My Son” (Matthew 2:14-15). When Herod realizes the magi are not coming back to tell him where to find the newborn King, he makes other plans as vicious as they are appalling. This self-serving ruler cares only for his own power and prestige. He has even killed several members of his own family when it suited him. So Herod now sends his soldiers to kill all baby boys under two whose families live in the vicinity of Bethlehem. 

Only when this brutal tyrant dies a few years later does an angel tell Joseph that it is finally safe for the Holy Family to return to Israel. But the families of the martyred children still lived with the horror of their loss. They may never even have known why this atrocity had overtaken their innocent infants. Martyrs such as St. Stephen whom we have just honored clearly understood that they were willingly laying down their lives for their faith. But these babies could not, yet they still shed their blood for Christ. They endured this violence at the end of their short days on earth. Through God’s love and mercy they gained the eternal crown of victory in heaven. The evil in the soul of Herod, the first person to threaten the life of Jesus still exists today. We must answer it with faith in our Savior, hope in His message, and love for Him expressed in our love for others. We must embrace lives that strive to do good and avoid evil, to seek the will of God rather than our own. We must turn away from any and all sins against life itself – and encourage others to do the same. 

Topics: homily helps, Lent, Easter, Resurrection

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