Evil and violence can cause immense harm – and only God ultimately defeats them
Reflections on the readings for the Feast of the Holy Innocents (December 28, 2018): 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.
On this day we commemorate the deaths of the Holy Innocents who were sacrificed through the wicked plans of King Herod.
When he heard from the wise men that a new king of the Jews had been born, he determined to have Him killed. In a dream, the magi were told to return home without letting Herod know where to find Jesus. Joseph was also warned in a dream that Jesus was in danger and the Holy Family needed to seek protection far away. “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). Enraged that the wise men had failed him, Herod lashed out and ordered the brutal murder of every boy in or near Bethlehem who was two years old and under.
Jesus survived to sacrifice Himself for us according to the divine design for our salvation. Yet the Holy Innocents endured martyrdom and their families suffered deeply because of the evil self-centeredness that gripped Herod. Those little ones have been recognized and honored as martyrs since the early days of the Church. Catholics now celebrate them as the patrons of all babies.