Homily for the Feast of the Holy Innocents
Theme: Holy Innocents
By: Fr. Gerald M. Musa
Homily for Tuesday December 28 2021
The famous novel, Animal Farm by George Orwell shows how power corrupts. The Pig, Napoleon in the novel was very powerful and was gradually corrupted by absolute power. Napoleon became manipulative and did not tolerate any opposition from other animals. He executed those who opposed his power. The actions of Napoleon go a long way to show that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Herod the king was afraid when he heard about the birth of Jesus and was told about the potentials of this new born child. When he could not find the child Jesus, he ordered the killing of all male children born within two years and below. Historical records have different estimates about the number of children killed. Some put the figure at 144,000, some say 14,000, other historians put the estimate as 20 because of the little size of the town of Bethlehem. Whatever the number is, the death of even a single child or person brings so much distress to a family or community, and violent deaths are even more painful. Annually, on 28th December, the Church remembers these ‘Holy Innocents’ killed by Herod. We too behave like Herod when we become power drunk and allow our ego to control us; the Herod in us appears when we try to dominate others and do all in our powers to eliminate competition and opposition.
As we remember the Holy Innocents, we lament the innocent blood shed in our nation. There are so many innocent victims of violence, including fragile infants, vulnerable people, and people murdered in cold blood. We remember innocent victims of tragedies, wars, violence, terrorism, banditry, kidnapping and insensitive government policies. We also remember innocent people wrongly condemned to death. In our society there is a battle going on against the innocent. Can we make reparation for all the innocent blood that have been shed in our land? Can we make more efforts to protect the innocent from molestation? Can we speak out again all forms of violence?