As a teacher, I deal with children on a daily basis. Sadly, I have seen some of them age from happy innocent children to teenagers with a lot of anger and bitterness and, for some, even hopelessness and despair.
We often look at King Herod and say, “What an evil man! He killed innocent babies!” Perhaps, unknowingly, we have also harmed innocent children around us: at times, by seemingly harmless or thoughtless teasing or by inappropriate jokes, by allowing them to watch age-inappropriate TV shows and movies, by letting them play violent video games. Many times they hear us curse and we give excuses that this is merely a slip-of-the-tongue or meaningless expression.
Some children experience physical or verbal abuse from their own parents who claim they do so out of frustration or exasperation or just unthinking carelessness. These actions do cause innocent children to sort of die little by little.
How do we avoid being another Herod? In the first reading John advises us to be in fellowship with God, to acknowledge our sinfulness and to trust in the Lord Jesus, our intercessor with the Father. We have to be conscious and cautious when dealing with children so that they may be properly guided.
Another advice given by Jesus himself is for us to be like little children ourselves, uncorrupted by sin and steadfast in our trust in God our Father.