28th December 2022
Rt. Rev. Keerthisiri Fernando

Holy Innocents

This day we remember the infants killed by King Herod. He killed those innocent children to get rid of the new infant king. This is a story of powerfulness and powerlessness. Very often powerful people who have acquired power through arrogant means keep on using arrogance to retain their power. As a result, many innocent people are subjected to violence and death. At the same time, many people who are in the process of gaining power use innocent people to acquire power.

This story reminds us of the responsibility of protecting innocent children and innocent people from corrupt rulers who want to stay in power by hook or crook. These rulers use all methods to stay in power. Their only intention is to stay in power. Here the danger is that these corrupt rulers always try to show that they are innocent and they are the saviors of the people. This is what King Herod did. He asked the wise men to inform the place of birth of this new king so that he could show this respect to this new king.

Very often in our society, our children are subjected to this threat from corrupt powerful rulers. How can we handle this situation? Do you remember what happened to the foster Father and Mother of Jesus? They had to escape to Egypt. They had to be away from danger. Similarly, at times we have to keep our children away from certain realities to protect them. This is not to hide our children from ground realities but to save them from danger.

The founders of our Sunday school (Holy Emmanuel - Moratuwa: Sri Lanka); very meaningfully have dedicated this Sunday school on the 28th of December, the day that we remember holy innocents. Today as we have the prize giving of our children and evaluate the work of our children let’s remember that we have a spiritual responsibility to make every effort to protect every child from harm and danger.

The Christian church right from the beginning had been concerned about these issues faced by children. That’s why they started homes for destitute children to protect them from harm and danger.

Today our children are exposed to drugs, liquor, homo sexuality (abuse them), and other social evil in our community. We need to make every effort to eradicate these evil things around us. We need to do this as a spiritual exercise.

Symbolically that’s why we have a scholarship program to help children to do their studies. This exercise of our parish should remind us and direct us to get involved in other activities to protect our children and to make a safe environment for them to grow.

As a spiritual exercise, I would like to suggest something practical: whenever we make efforts to create a safer environment for our children and grandchildren let’s make some effort to do something to create a similar environment for some children facing danger somewhere. If all of us can practice this simple exercise: this can make a Hugh impact on our society. Let’s ask God to give us his grace to do this in our community.