Saturday, January 14, 2006
FEAST OF THE STO NINO
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FEAST OF THE STO NINO
Jan 14, 2006
JANUARY 15, 2006
FEAST OF THE STO NINO - B (PROPER FEAST IN THE PHILIPPINE DIOCESES)
The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; Upon
those who dwelt in the land of gloom a light has shone. You have
brought them abundant joy and great rejoicing, As they rejoice
before you as at the harvest, as men make merry when dividing
spoils. For the yoke that burdened them, the pole on their shoulder,
And the rod of their taskmaster you have smashed, as on the day of
Midian. For every boot that tramped in battle, every cloak rolled in
blood, will be burned as fuel for flames. For a child is born to us,
a son is given us; upon his shoulder dominion rests. They name him
Wonder-Counselor, God-Hero, Father-Forever, Prince of Peace. His
dominion is vast and forever peaceful, From David's throne, and over
his kingdom, which he confirms and sustains By judgment and justice,
both now and forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this!
EPHESIANS 1:3-6, 15-18
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has
blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavens,
as he chose us in him, before the foundation of the world, to be
holy and without blemish before him. In love he destined us for
adoption to himself through Jesus Christ, in accord with the favor
of his will, for the praise of the glory of his grace that he
granted us in the beloved. Therefore, I, too, hearing of your faith
in the Lord Jesus and of your love for all the holy ones, do not
cease giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, that the
God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a
spirit of wisdom and revelation resulting in knowledge of him. May
the eyes of (your) hearts be enlightened, that you may know what is
the hope that belongs to his call, what are the riches of glory in
his inheritance among the holy ones,
And people were bringing children to him that he might touch them,
but the disciples rebuked them. When Jesus saw this he became
indignant and said to them, "Let the children come to me; do not
prevent them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Amen,
I say to you, whoever does not accept the kingdom of God like a
child will not enter it." Then he embraced them and blessed them,
placing his hands on them.
Why do we celebrate the Feast of Santo Niño after the Feast of the
Baptism of our Lord, which marks the beginning of Jesus' public
ministry? It is like going "one step back" liturgically.
This feast has a special meaning in the Philippines because of the
historical background the Christianization of the country. In
other countries, today is celebrated as the Second Sunday in
When Magellan arrived in Cebu in 1521, and Rajah Humabon and Queen
Juana were converted to Christianity, Magellan gave a statue of the
Santo Niño as a gift to Queen Juana. During the second Spanish
expedition to the Philippines after Magellan was killed by Lapu-
Lapu, the Cebuanos thought that the Spaniards' return was to avenge
the death of Magellan. They put up a fight. But in the face of
superior firepower, the Cebuanos fled to the hills leaving their
burning villages. A Spanish soldier found the image of the Child
Jesus inside a wooden box. That same image of the Santo Niño is
still in the Basilica del Santo Niño in Cebu City, and continues to
attract millions of pilgrims each year.
What is the significance of this feast we celebrate today? What does
the childhood of Jesus say to you and me today? Certain
characteristics in a child mark him as a person of the Kingdom: "I
tell you solemnly," said Jesus, "unless you change and become like
little children you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. And so,
the one who makes himself as little as this little child is the
greatest in the kingdom of heaven." (Mt. 18:3-4)
A child has three qualities, which make him the model for those who
are citizens of the Kingdom:
First and foremost, the child's humility. A child is content to be
in the shadow of his parents. It is only when he grows up that he is
initiated into the individualistic, competitive world, with its
struggle and scramble to be ahead of others. The value that we learn
from the world as we grow up is to strive for possession, power,
honor, fame, and comfort. Who are the people we consider successful
in life? Are they not the rich and the famous?
If we were to choose where and how Christ was to be born, we would
probably have chosen for him to be born a prince, like the statue of
Santo Niño, or of an emperor of Rome, or of an aristocrat of the
To show us where true value lies, Jesus chose to be born of poor
parents, unnoticed by the world, no fanfare or fireworks. Only the
illiterate poor shepherds and the pagan Magi paid him homage at his
The second quality is the child's dependence. To a child, a state of
dependence is perfectly natural. He is perfectly content to be
utterly dependent on those who love him and care for him. Jesus
lived an obscure life for 30 years obedient to Joseph and Mary.
If men would accept the fact of their dependence on God, a new
strength and new peace would enter their lives.
The third quality is the child's trust. He instinctively trusts his
parents that his needs will be met. When we were children, we could
not buy our own food or our own clothes, or maintain our own home;
yet, we never doubted that we would be clothed and fed, and that
there would be shelter, warmth and comfort waiting for us when we
And so, a child's humility is the pattern of the Christian's
behavior to his fellowmen, and the child's dependence and trust are
the pattern of the Christian's attitude towards God, the Father of
To the world, greatness and success mean wealth, fame, and power.
But according to Christ, the reverse is true - to be poor in spirit,
to be simple, to be humble is the secret of Christian success. Being
childlike was Jesus' disarming approach, his enchanting Good News.
The Feast of Santo Niño invites us to dance to the makarena of
divine love in a simple manner of living and loving.
- for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the
- thanksgiving and personal intentions of Baby Jane Figuerres.
- for the eternal repose of the soul of Tomas Nanquil, Jr. Eternal
rest grant unto him and may perpetual light shine upon him. May he
all the dearly departed rest in peace.
- In thanksgiving for the improvement of Mike Torres' condition, and
for his continued recovery.
- for the personal intentions of Charles Conrad C and Cheryl C.
- for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary.
- Birthday: Ceyliloña N. Tong
- In Memoriam (+): Imelda Reyes
- for world peace and reconciliation.
Finally, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our
prayers and for those who need our prayers the most.
Have a good day!
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