Solwezi-based Catholic Priest Fr. Gabriel Chilekwa has called for the protection of children and all vulnerable people in society.
The universal Church is today remembering the Holy Innocents, children of Bethlehem put to death by order of King Herod as part of his efforts to eliminate the child Jesus.
Fr. Chilekwa of Saint Francis Catholic Mission in Kalala, Solwezi said parents and guardians should protect children from all forms of harm and evil.
He said God is calling everyone to participate in the protection of the innocent and most vulnerable people.
“Reflect, today, upon the will of God for your life. In what ways is God calling you to be like Saint Joseph and protect the most innocent and most vulnerable people? How are you being called to be a guardian of those entrusted to your care? Certainly on a civil level we must all work to protect the lives of the vulnerable. But every parent, grandparent and all those entrusted with responsibility for another must strive to protect those in their care in countless ways. We must diligently work to preserve them from the evils in our world and the numerous attacks of the evil one on their lives. Ponder this question today and allow the Lord to speak to you of your duty to imitate the great protector, Saint Joseph. Protect Children and all the Vulnerable People,” Fr. Chilekwa said.
He said coordinated efforts are needed toward the protection of the vulnerable in communities.
“Herod did the unthinkable. He ordered the slaughter of every boy, two years old and younger, who was in Bethlehem and its vicinity. Imagine the deep mourning and devastation so many families encountered as a result. How could a ruler murder so many innocent children? The Bible passage above reveals to us the will of the Father regarding not only the protection of His divine Son but also His divine will for the protection and sanctity of all human life. It was Satan who inspired Herod to kill those precious and innocent children so long ago, and it is Satan who continues to promote a culture of death and destruction today. What should our response be? We, like Saint Joseph, must see it as our solemn duty to protect the children and vulnerable people generally with unwavering determination. Though this newborn Child was God, and though the Father in Heaven could have protected His Son with a myriad of angels, it was the Father’s will that a man, Saint Joseph, protect His Son. For that reason, we should also hear the Father calling each and every one of us to do all we can to protect the innocent and most vulnerable people,” Fr. Chilekwa added.
Meanwhile, Ndola Catholic Priest Fr. Augustine Mwewa has warned leaders against selfishly holding on to positions of power.
“Beloved brethren in Christ, the selfish intention of trying to preserve his dynasty from unwanted intrusion, Herod killed the children we celebrate today as the Holy innocents. He wanted to get rid of baby Jesus so that he would be free, and his future would not be affected. How many Herod’s do we not have right in our midst today! Has the violence against children stopped? What are the reasons people commit abortion? Is it for the same reason that Herod killed those innocent children? We must stop this evil lest we end up the way Herod ended up. May God have mercy and heal the wounds of those who have committed abortion or meted out violence against the weak in the past and are ready to stand in with him in the future,” Fr. Mwewa said.
“May he (God) also touch the hearts of those who are presently making plans to engage in that crime so that they may change and stand with God, who is light, at all times. Who can explain suffering, especially the suffering of innocent children? Herod’s massacre of children who gave their lives for a person and a truth they did not know seemed so useless and unjust. What a scandal and stumbling block for those who can’t recognize God’s redeeming love. Why couldn’t God prevent this slaughter? Suffering is indeed a mystery. No explanation seems to satisfy our human craving to understand,” Fr. Mwewa said.