28 Dec – Feast of the Holy Innocents, martyrs; Fourth Day in the Octave of Christmas
The feast of the Holy Innocents is held in memorial for the children slaughtered by Herod when he tried to kill the infant Christ.
– Patron Saint Index
1 John 1:5 – 2:2
This is what we have heard from Jesus Christ,
and the message that we are announcing to you:
God is light; there is no darkness in him at all.
If we say that we are in union with God
while we are living in darkness,
we are lying because we are not living the truth.
But if we live our lives in the light,
as he is in the light,
we are in union with one another,
and the blood of Jesus, his Son,
purifies us from all sin.
If we say we have no sin in us,
we are deceiving ourselves
and refusing to admit the truth;
but if we acknowledge our sins,
then God who is faithful and just
will forgive our sins and purify us
from everything that is wrong.
To say that we have never sinned
is to call God a liar
and to show that his word is not in us.
I am writing this, my children,
to stop you sinning;
but if anyone should sin,
we have our advocate with the Father,
Jesus Christ, who is just;
he is the sacrifice that takes our sins away,
and not only ours,
but the whole world’s.
After the wise men had left, the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Get up, take the child and his mother with you, and escape into Egypt, and stay there until I tell you, because Herod intends to search for the child and do away with him.” So Joseph got up and, taking the child and his mother with him, left that night for Egypt, where he stayed until Herod was dead. This was to fulfil what the Lord had spoken through the prophet:
I called my son out of Egypt.
Herod was furious when he realised that he had been outwitted by the wise men and in Bethlehem and its surrounding district he had all the male children killed who were two years old or under, reckoning by the date he had been careful to ask the wise men. It was then that the words spoken through the prophet Jeremiah were fulfilled:
A voice was heard in Ramah,
sobbing and loudly lamenting:
it was Rachel weeping for her children,
refusing to be comforted
because they were no more.
Do you think Herod was cruel for having all those children two years old or under killed? I am sure that most, if not all, of us would agree that he was a cruel man indeed. If you had been his adviser or had some influence over him at that time, would you have spoken out against him or discouraged him from passing this order to his soldiers? Maybe, or maybe not, depending on the consequences that such a move would have on us, our families, and our careers, is that not so?
Now let me ask another question: do you think it is cruel to kill a child that has not yet been born? If it is cruel to kill a child two years or under, would it not be even more cruel to kill a child that has not yet been born? Yet this is what we are doing to the unborn children in our country. According to a United Nations report, the abortion rate in Singapore in 1996 was 15.9 abortions per 1,000 women aged 15-44. Consider how many women there are in Singapore, and you get a rough idea of how many babies we are killing every year.
That’s right – WE are killing them because we are simply standing by and not doing anything. This is one of the ways in which St. John talks about how we are sinning. We may not be actively involved in the slaughter of innocents taking place in our country today, but most of us are also not actively involved in preventing the slaughter. That makes us guilty of the sin of omission. Our silence makes us accomplices of the murders that are taking place. It makes us no different from the imaginary adviser of Herod’s who failed to speak out against his cruel act.
What can we do then? How can we right the wrong that we have helped take place? The first thing we need to do is to admit that we have sinned, for as St. John says, “If we say we have no sin in us, we are deceiving ourselves and refusing to admit the truth.” We need to acknowledge our sins, and ask God for forgiveness, and that He will purify us from everything that is wrong.
Then we need to ask God to open our eyes and show us the evil that is taking place in our nation, and to show us the role in which He wants us to play in defending the innocent. For so long as we remain silent, unborn babies will continue to be sacrificed to preserve the physical and mental health of women, to ‘right’ foetal impairment, for economic or social reasons, or simply on request.
Brothers and sisters, let us stop sinning today!
The U.N. report may be found here:
Dear Lord, we ask You today to help us to acknowledge our sin of omission, particularly in defending the most innocent and defenseless people in our country. We ask you for forgiveness of this terrible sin on our part, and that You might show us the evil that is taking place in our nation. Reveal to us also the path and role which You want us to take to right the wrong that we are doing to the unborn. Amen.
Give Thanks to the Lord for: Tears we weep for our sins and the loss of lives that is taking place in our land.
Sat, 29 Dec – 1 John 2:3-11; Luke 2:22-35; Fifth Day in the Octave of Christmas
Sun, 30 Dec – Sirach 3:2-6, 12-14; Colossians 3:12-21; Matthew 2:13-15, 19-23
To subscribe to this mailing list, send a blank e-mail to this address:
To unsubscribe to this mailing list, send a blank e-mail to this address: