Saturday, December 29, 2007

On Holy Innocents

These days, when practically almost all Salesians are home--splurging in the rest and recreation which Christmas vacation brings--we are given the chance to deliver the Salesian "good night talk" that dates back to the time of Don Bosco.
Below is a piece of good night talk I gave tonight. It was supposed to be given yesterday, but something else took place.
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A researcher working on his paper on the Holy Innocents may be at a loss in his search for the actual number of male infants who were massacred upon the order of King Herod.

The reason is not complicated.

Statistician-Historians are not in agreement as to the exact figure. For example, the Byzantine liturgy lists 14,000 infants massacred. An ancient list of saints in Syria claims some 64,000 were killed.

Not to be outdone, our very own Catholic encyclopedia, which was published in 1910, suggests that these figures are inflated. And for a small town of Bethlehem, probably only between 6 to 20 male infants would have been executed.

Aside from these figures, nothing much can be said about the Holy Innocents. They were nothing, because they were not allowed to become anyone. They were killed.

The Holy Innocents may stand for the unimportant and insignificant sacrificial lambs that permeate in the whole history of mankind. They can be sacrificed to attain some nobler cause because they don't really worth that much.

As we remembered them yesterday, and we bring them into our consciousness tonight, let us pray for those who die even before experiencing birth to give a greater life to those who have them killed.