Feast of the Holy Innocents, martyrs Mt 2,13-18

Some people have negatively made history. King Herod is one of them, who is still looked down upon after two millennia, who had boys under two years of age slaughtered in and around Bethlehem, and whose feast day we celebrate today.

God told the wise men through an angel to return home another way, not how they came. After the departure of the Magi, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said: “Arise, take the child and his mother with you, and flee into Egypt, and stay there until I let you know, for Herod will seek the child to destroy him.” (Mt. 2:13). Let us explain the events surrounding Herod. Herod came from neither a purely Jewish nor a royal family. His mother was a Gentile – an Arab, his father an Antipater, he was a Judaizing Imudean. He was tenacious but cruel, foxy cunning, and egotistical. He was loyal to the Roman rulers, who allowed him to be a domestic king for nearly half a century over the terrorized Jews. He was initiated into the mysteries of diplomacy by his father. So did his brother Parcel. After the murder of their father, thanks to the Romans, the brothers became tetrarch administrators, which was the first step to rule. Emperor Octavian, in 40 BC – the birth of Christ, appointed Herod king of Judah. He came entirely under the power of the Romans, thus fulfilling the prophetic prediction of James about the removal of the scepter of Judah (cf. Gen. 49:10).

From that time on, the loss of the national and religious freedom of the chosen people is already quite clear. Herod was a gifted and calculating ruler. To the Roman rulers, he tried to be loyal and grateful. He knew that without them, he could not be king. Power and glory had to be bought dearly from the Romans. He maintained his control through violence and deceit. He spilled the blood of his adversaries, who did not comply without scruples. At the very beginning, he had 45 leading Jews murdered, for which the synergism condemned him. Herod’s wife Miriam I got her 16-year-old brother appointed high priest.
Herod had him assassinated. He suspected adultery with Queen Miriam because the people liked him. He was very jealous of his wife, and therefore everyone on whom the shadow of suspicion fell died. His sister Salome railed against Miriam and falsely accused her of the man. Herod also had his innocent wife killed. Also, her mother or mother-in-law. He feared for the throne that his two sons, by his wife Mariana, Aristobulus and Alexander, would one day take it from him, so he had them hanged at Sebastian in 7 BC as soon as they returned from Rome. He also had three hundred officers secretly slain who allegedly plotted with his sons against him. Therefore, it is not surprising that the slaughter of the Bethlehem boys was also an act befitting Herod’s cruel nature. Herod’s old age was terrible. We know this from the writings of Josephus Flavius, who describes all this in his historical reports. Herod had internal pain, dropsy, worms in his rectum, oozing sores all over his body, possibly cancer. He instructed his sister Salome that when he died to have the Jewish potentates be slaughtered so that in this way, the Jews would be forced to mourn, at least ostensibly, his death. This murder, however, did not take place. He died in 749 from the foundation of Rome. Josephus Flavius called him “great,” but how great?

What to say at this time? God, by allowing such suffering upon the Jewish nation just before the coming of the Messiah, wanted to point out to the Israelites the spiritual and moral qualities of the Messiah, for He was coming as the Prince of Peace to redeem all nations from their sins and to save them, not by the sword and the blood of the innocent, but by love and His blood. Let us realize that in this way, Herod also indirectly contributed to the fulfillment of the Messianic “fullness of times” and its significant landmark in the history of the economy of the salvation of humanity. Today’s death of the innocent children in Bethlehem also cries out for life hereafter. Do not kill our brothers and sisters who were not born and did not have time to say the name Daddy, Mommy! Remember, brothers and sisters, that the death of an unborn child is always only murder! Herod was not as bloodthirsty as today’s hospitals. He was a soldier, a heathen, an ignoramus. Today, educated, believing, and civilized mothers beg, complain, bribe just so that the child does not interfere with their career; comfort does not take away their beauty.

The modern age is getting rid of personalities. It does not allow them to develop their talents because it kills them before setting them. The nation murders artists, scientists, scholars, and builders before they can put their hands to work. The government deprives itself of personalities and, in so doing, prepares a coffin for itself. The nation in the unborn is dying. Long live the country that triumphs over the idea of abortion!


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