It is 28th December 2019. We celebrate the Feast of the Holy Innocents, Martyrs. The readings are from 1 John 1:5-2:2 and the Gospel from Matthew 2:13-18. This feast is the memory of those male children who were killed by king Herod and provided a shield for infant Jesus and shine today as a witness to Him in the world. The entrance antipon sings, “The innocents were slaughtered as infants for Christ; spotless, they follow the Lamb and sing for ever: Glory to you, O Lord.” Let us not enter into a debate whether it is a historical or theological event dilute the sacrifices of innocent children rather to inculcate the truth that there are innocent children being abused and brutally massacred even today by lustful animals in the human form. No government or a divinely instituted organisation can ignore or silence the brutality and heinous crimes done to the most vulnerable children. The community needs to provide a safe environment for our children to shine their light and innocence. We must protect our children by all means with all the resources available to protect them from the environment of sin and sinful individuals. There are children even today shed their blood for truth and for Christ Jesus. Children are murdered because of the lustful and power mongering individuals even today. Just like Herod, there are elders and grown-ups who sacrifice children to hold on to their fame and positions. The atrocities unleased against the children are growing every minute. “As of early 2018, nearly 31 million children had been forcibly displaced by violence and conflict, including 13 million child refugees and more than 17 million inside their own countries. Attacks on children continue unabated. Children have become frontline targets. This is a moral crisis of our age: We must never accept this as the ‘new normal.’ (UNISEF: children under attack). The first reading boldly declares that there is so much of darkness and sin in the world. We must allow the light of faith to shine to avoid sin and become the role models in spreading the light of Christ through our merciful acts. “But if we walk in the light as he is in the light, then we have fellowship with one another, and the Blood of his Son Jesus cleanses us from all sin.” (1 Jn. 1:7). The responsorial Psalm praises, “Our soul has been rescued like a bird from the fowler’s snare.” (Ps.124:7). The Gospel recounts the massacre of all boys in Bethlehem. Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of heaven belongs.” (Mt.13:14). St. Augustine exalts them, “; the death of these children is precious in the sight of God because of the beatitude they gained so quickly. The end of the present life is for them the beginning of glory. These then were the Church’s first blossoms, matured by the frost of persecution during the cold winter of unbelief.” It is the most excellent time for parents to inaugurate the custom of blessing their children after Holy Mass. Those who could not be present for the Holy Mass must bless their children and say a prayer. May God bless all our children and protect them from all harm. Please do not forget to take the children near Jesus today. May you have a good day. God bless you.

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