20111228 Feast of the Holy Innocents, martyrs (Mt 2:13-18)
My dear brothers and sisters,
On forth day in the octave of Christmas we are celebrating the feast of the Holly Innocents, martyrs. The Holy Innocents were the first victims and silently witnesses of the Holy Child Jesus.
I hope and pray that we share their innocence in knowing God’s will and love. And let us remember the new innocents of today, they also have specific names in other infants, youngsters, old people, immigrants, ailing persons and others.
The companions of Christ
After the glory and joy of Christmas Day, we are confronted by three feasts: the feast of Stephen, St John, and today, the Holy Innocents.?As we know that these feasts have nothing to do with the chronological order of the events. But our Church traditionally call these saints, ‘the Christmas saints’ or ‘the companions of Christ’. Stephen, John, and the Innocents are the companions of Christ, in other words, persecution, martyrdom, slaughter are the companions of the following Christ.
Anyway, the feast today is kept within the octave of Christmas because the Holy Innocents gave their life for the newborn Saviour. Their death is taken up into the sacrifice of Christ for the whole human race. We are willing to consider the Holy Innocents as glorious martyrs, because they died not only for Christ, but also in His place. They are a sign of hope for all those little ones who have died in the state of innocence.
Therefore, this feast makes us hopeful for all who die innocently, whatever the cause of death, and God knows our world is full of them, the innocent victims of war, terror, natural disaster, accident, and so on. And we should remember that all these things of innocents are the companions of the following Christ.