Feast of the Holy Innocents, Martyrs
Malvern Minute


Feast of the Holy Innocents, Martyrs

December 28, 2020

Deacon Anthony J. Cincotta

Saint Mary Magdalen Parish, Media, PA


First John 1:5, 2:2

Psalm 124:2-5, 7-8

Matthew 2:13-18


            Today is the feast of the Holy Innocents.  It is a first century feast that has been kept in the West from the 4the century.  The day honors those that are considered to be martyrs because they not only died for Christ but instead of Christ.  King Herod murdered all the male children who were approximately two years old in hopes of killing the Christ child.  In this feast the Church also honors all who die in a state of innocence and consoles parents of their deceased children with the conviction that these also will share the glory of the infant companions of Jesus. 

            I believe that it is quite consoling for a parent to know that the Church also recognizes children who have died are present with these infant martyrs.  Life is as much a mystery as God’s ways are unexplainable.  Who can explain to parents why their baby suddenly died or why others are struggling with the birth of their child who has a rare disease or severe handicap?  But it is when innocent children are slaughtered, as the Gospel portrays, that the disorder and sin in the world become painfully present.  The saddest part of today’s feast is that Herod’s order to slaughter the innocent children of Jerusalem was not an isolated case.  Throughout history in cultures around the world children have been sacrificed, slaughtered, abused, starved and destroyed.  These innocent and weak children are left to the demise of more powerful and controlling adults that are indeed walking in darkness.  Here, unfortunately, we also must acknowledge the tragedy that befalls the unborn.  The darkness seems overwhelming at times.  We weep for all of them.

            Today’s reading from 1 John gives us hope for a world that seems surrounded by darkness.  Hope because there is light in the world that brightens the darkness.  For all the evil acts that blacken the world around us there is God’s light shining through people who stand for justice, truth and love.  The people I speak of are regular folks like you and me, coming from all faiths, cultures and walks of life.  We brighten the world because we stand up against injustices, pursue God’s truth, and reflect the love that God has for each one of us; for we are His precious children. 

            We are not yet saints, but we are people who care deeply about the state of the human condition.  We have been touched by God’s precious love and want to share the gift with others.  By sharing God’s love we are lighting up the world.  As we have celebrated the season of Christmas and the birth of God among us, we can be confident that the light we bring to the world is making a difference.  Even those small daily acts of justice, truth and love shared with family, friends and strangers are sending “sparks of light” into our world.  We can never undo the horrors of yesterday, but we can bring God’s light into the world today.  The world needs us to bring God’s love, hope and light into every situation we encounter.

Question of the Day:  How will you bring God’s light into the world through your words, actions and deeds?

Prayer:  Heavenly Father, in Your love for us, protect against the wickedness of the devil, those helpless little ones whom You have given the gift of life.  Amen.   





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