The Feast of the Holy Innocents~Br. Milan Komadina

«La Vierge à l’Enfant entourée des saints Innocents», huile sur bois (Hauteur. 138 cm ; largeur. 100 cm) de Pierre Paul Rubens. – Œuvre executée vers 1618, appartenant au musée du Louvre (Paris). – Ref. Nº INV 1763, photographiée lors de l’exposition temporaire « Rubens et son Temps » au musée du Louvre-Lens.

From time to time when you talk with people who are not Christians or who claim to be atheists (having no faith in God) if we ask them why that is they would say the sentence:” If there is God why innocent people suffer or why there are wars, diseases, children suffering hunger and thirst all over the world?” And it is really hard to deny all that because they are saying the truth when claiming that the world is full of injustice, full of people suffering and full of many adults and children who are unhappy (for various reasons) and they are truly innocent and do not deserve the things that are happening to them.

In the history of the church there are many stories about innocent people who were victims of this cruel world. Also there are many stories about martyrs who were even killed and they were innocent. One of those stories we could also find in today`s story from Matthew 2:13-18:

13 When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up,” he said, “take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.” 14 So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt, 15 where he stayed until the death of Herod. And so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet: “Out of Egypt I called my son.”16 When Herod realized that he had been outwitted by the Magi, he was furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had learned from the Magi. 17 Then what was said through the prophet Jeremiah was fulfilled: 18 “A voice is heard in Ramah, weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more.”

As we see Herod have ordered to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under. If we take a look at the recent history, we know that there were many people like Herod. For example during World War Second there was Hitler and according to Wikipedia around 1.500.000 children were killed by Nazis. In NATO bombing 1999 Bill Clinton killed more than 90 children in my native country Serbia. Also today, a modern Hitler from Russia named Vladimir Putin has killed 424 innocent children in Ukraine (online data source). When we become aware of the fact that the Earth is full of evil and injustice it is natural to start questioning “Where is God?” Seems that we quite often forget about the fact that there is not only God as someone who is invisible and who controls the things happening on the Earth. Christians know that there is also the devil.

God did not save his own son from being murdered on the cross. He himself was suffering until he died. But he also gave promise that we will not bear the cross bigger than the one which we could hold. But He also gave us the hope of everlasting life in resurrection. With his resurrection He presented that the evil might temporarily win and the dark might temporarily seem to be very strong but the light will overcome the darkness and the light is eternal. As it is written in 1 John 1:5:

This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him                      there is no darkness at all.

We are getting closer to the understanding the answer on questioning why God allows evil and unjust things happening on the Earth and in our everyday life. This is because this world is also affected by devil, the fallen angel named Satan and his other fallen angels, also known as demons. God created man with some limitations. We have limited life expectancy, limited health, and limited beauty and also limited abilities of various type. One of them is the limitation in understanding. We cannot understand everything, we cannot know everything and we cannot know why sometimes bad things are happening especially to children, innocents or to people who seem to be living in accordance with God`s word. But trust in God could be enough for us because we know God is always good. He had known that Bethlehem boys under the age of 2 would be killed by Herod and He also knew that His Son was going to be killed on the cross. But those things we should understand through the knowledge that there is also Satan who wants to cause evil and more evil. We should not blame God when we see injustice happening because God surely gets hurt even more than we do while witnessing the injustice of any type. But God knows why he allows some things to happen.  May prayer for today is that all of us have more faith in God and rely on His wisdom and perfect knowledge of the time (past, present, future) and his perfect knowledge about the eternity. Remember today that there were many small innocent children who were killed and become martyrs. God knows why this should happen and make sure that those children are God`s saints that will be dwelling in eternal life with the Lord.