HOMILY FOR THE FEAST OF THE HOLY INNOCENTS
HOMILY THEME: THE HOLY INNOCENTS
BY: Fr. Benny Tuazon
HOMILY: (Mt. 2:13-18)
In today’s Gospel, Feast of the Holy Innocents, we have the story of the under two-year olds who were killed by Herod in his effort to stop the birth of the promised Messiah. The children’s lives were sacrificed because of Herod’s effort to kill the promised Messiah, Jesus. Significant was the mention of Rachel weeping for the children as quoted from the prophet Jeremiah. Rachel, the younger between the two wives of Jacob, was not as fruitful as the other wife. Jewish culture looks down on women who were nor productive, Rachel was ridiculed a lot. Finally, God heard her cry and she was given Joseph and Benjamin, When she died, she was buried in Ramah which was part of Bethlehem. Rachel wept during the exile, the tribe of his son Benjamin, was badly defeated. The innocent children were massacred in a territory of the tribe of Benjamin, thus, Rachel’s cry was told to being heard again.
The First Reading from John the Evangelist refers to Jesus as the light. In John’s letters, God represents light, good, life, order, and truth among others. Anything without God is darkness, evil, death, lies, etc. Thus, for John, if we are to be followers of God, we walk in the light, live in truth, etc. We cannot live in sin and claim to be believers. Sadly, there are Christians who have this thinking. They believe dualism is still worthy of belonging to the faith. The community of believers may not be perfect but it is not a reason to just accept sin. Forgiveness and repentance should address them.
The innocent children are those caught in the crossfire. Unfortunately it persists today. There are children caught in the crossfire of Aleppo, Mindanao, communities, war on drugs, terrorist attacks, and families feuds. In the quest for population control, children are seen as problems and must be sacrificed. Rachel, in a way, continues to weep. We share Rachel’s cry and lamentation. We have not learned our lessons. But God’s will will not be thwarted by anyone and anything. Jesus escaped Herod and proceeded to be born, minister, suffered, died, and rose again to save us.
We pray for all those children who have died, fighting for their lives, and those living freely. They are the future of the world. Let the light of Jesus shine on them and eliminate sin and evil.
Pray for us!