The Escape to Egypt and The Massacre of the Infants
Reflection on the Gospel of the Fourth Day (Wednesday)
God is Good all the time and, All the time God is good.
If this is true then why were these innocent children slaughtered? Did God take a break after the incarnation of His only begotten son or was He on a holiday needing a well-deserved break from His disobedient and ever-ungrateful children of Israel?
Today we celebrate the feast of the Holy Innocents, children who were murdered by Herod in an attempt to kill Jesus. Did God have a shortage of staff in Heaven that He could send only one angel to warn Mary and Joseph and therefore could not send anyone else to warn the other mothers? Is it partiality? Didn’t God value the lives of those little children who were perhaps playing with friends, some were eating the special meal made for them, some were surrounded by an audience of family members who were rolling with laughter at the funny sounds of their babbles, some were being nursed by their mother and some were probably sleeping after a long and active time of play. All of these innocent babies were torn from their parents to be killed in the most monstrous ways.
I am sure there is pain in your heart as you read this. Some of you may even be crying right now. Some of you who are parents may even be gripped by fear imagining what happened to these innocent children and are hoping never to face anything even close to this type of situation. Yet today I want to tell you that in the choices we have made we are no less than Herod. Today we are teaching our children to be on the top of all the ranks. “If you are a ranker only then can you survive”, and “Why are your marks not better than his’/her’s?”, that one’s son has got a job in Dubai but you my son have to go to the USA or at least try for that PR the Canadian government is offering”.
Herod was threatened by the message of the wise men and was infuriated that there is a possibility of a young child overthrowing his reign. Dear friends, how long did Herod live after that? Like him we also get stuck on things that are of this world and forget the true purpose of our calling as parents and guardians. At the time of marriage, we promised to bring up our children in the Christian faith which means teaching them to live like Christ. But we start doing just the opposite of it. From the time of their birth some of us start to plan their future in terms of education and job. These holy innocent children didn’t have a lifetime to serve God but were blessed in their death. What will we choose for our children if God gave us an option of a lifetime of success, fame, and immense wealth for our children or to Die joyfully for Jesus as a martyr? My dear brothers and sister in Christ it’s high time that we let our little ones come closer to God who has entrusted them to us.
Its time to teach them to try their best to get full marks but their honest efforts are enough. It’s time to tell them to finish the race but not without helping those who are struggling along the way. Our Lord only wants us to finish the race and not come first. For the first shall be last and the last shall be first. The crown of life will be given to all who endure and finish the race so why bother coming first when we can have a group entry of all our family and friends the good Lord has given us. My dear family in Christ let us help our children to prepare themselves for a life of faith and service which will be rewarded with eternity with God our lover rather than a life of fame, success and wealth that will lead to their spiritual death which again will be for eternity. Let us stop being the Herod in their life but as faithful servants of God, like Mary and Joseph in obedience protect and lead them to Christ.
Lord help us to let the little ones come to you. Amen.