The Holy Innocents, Martyrs (Feast)


Herod . . . became furious. 


What kind of person orders the slaughter of two-year-olds?   Someone as neurotic and paranoid as Herod the Great, that’s who.   This atrocity also shows how desperate Herod must have been.   It’s possible that the birth of one little child terrified him so much because he had already sensed that his grip on power was slipping away—which it was.   In the end, his order to kill little children was just an irrational, final lashing out at a fate he knew he could not avoid.   His darkness may have been fading, but he wasn’t going to go down without a fight.

It can sound ironic, but Herod’s desperation is another sign that Jesus’ coming had ushered in a new era of freedom and hope.   Jesus’ light was just beginning to shine, and the powers of darkness were already trembling.

How does this relate to today?   Deeds of darkness like abortion, euthanasia, sexual immorality, and corruption in general continue to have a firm grip on our world.   The darkness doesn’t seem like it is giving up the fight, and in many cases, it even appears to be winning.   Or at the very least, the darkness is taking quite a long time to admit defeat.

On one level, it would make perfect sense to give up hope for the world.   But God doesn’t want us to give up—and our faith urges us to keep shining our light.   We may at times feel about as powerless as a little child against so much evil, but that’s when we need to remember that this is exactly how Jesus came into the world.   He was only a little child, but his light attracted the Magi from hundreds of miles away.   He was only a little child, but his light filled Herod with fear.

It may seem vague and overly spiritual, but the best thing you could ever do is to let your own light shine in the darkness.   Show the world the difference that Jesus makes.   Speak against evil, but in a way that is humble and patient.   Let the words you say—and the words you choose not to say—demonstrate the compassion and goodness of the Lord.   Never forget that Christ is in you.   You can make a difference.

“Jesus, I want to help turn back the darkness.   Come, Lord, and shine through me with the brightness of your love.”

1 John 1:5–2:2
Psalm 124:2-5, 7-8

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