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Feast of the Holy Innocents

Monday, in the Octave of Christmas

1 John 1:5 - 2:2, Psalms 124, Matthew 2:13-18

“Nobody can alter the plan of God.”


The feast we celebrate today demonstrates how God’s plans prevail always. Indeed, nobody and no evil scheme can divert God’s plan. This is revealed in our today’s gospel reading where after Jesus’ birth at Bethlehem in Judaea, word went round that a king had been born. King Herod felt that his kingdom was threatened. He therefore summoned the wise men and sent them to Bethlehem saying: ‘Go and find out all about the child then let me know so that I too can go and do him homage’. Mt 2:8 King Herod ruled Judaea, Idumaea and Samaria between 37– 4 BC. During his reign, he killed several of his family members including his brother Joseph in 34BC, his wife Mariamne in 29BC and few months later his mother in- law Alexandra, his brother in-law Costobar in 25BC, his sons Alexander and Aristobulus and four days before his death killed his son Antipater in 4 BC. With this history in mind, it is untrue that he intended to go and pay homage to baby Jesus.

When the wise men failed to take the message back to Herod, he felt fooled and was so furious that he ordered the massacre of all baby boys aged below 2 years in Bethlehem and its surrounding district. Lk 2:16 To ensure that God’s plans were fulfilled, God intervened in two ways to prevent the killing of baby Jesus by King Herod; 1. God warned the wise men in a dream not to go back to Herod. Lk 2:12 2.God sent an angel to Joseph in a dream who instructed him to escape with the child to Egypt until King Herod died. Lk 2:13 This divine intervention helped Joseph to flee to Egypt with his family. King Herod’s evil scheme was thus defeated and God’s plan was fulfilled. This is a big lesson and encouragement to us Christians. We often face challenges in our private life, social life, spiritual life, family life, career life and feel like our dreams are shattered. After a challenging year 2020, some of us may be pessimistic and have no energy to start year 2021. It is always important to remember that God’s plan cannot be altered by anybody. No evil scheme can conquer it.

People may try to obstruct you from success or blessings out of malice. Like God’s plan for the holy family prevailed over King Herod’s evil plans, you will be uplifted to the surprise of your enemies.

Heavenly Father, help me to understand that your plans for me are unchangeable.


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