Saturday, January 17, 2009
FEAST OF THE STO. NIÑO
FEAST OF THE STO. NIÑO - B
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
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
Today's Feast of the Sto. Niño seems to be uniquely Filipino. This day
is a big celebration and tourist attraction in the cities and towns of
Cebu, Kalibo, Pandacan, and Tondo. The Sto. Niño has been dressed in
many ways— in police, farmer and fireman outfits. And although the
Sto. Niño is supposedly small, this has not prevented people from
coming up with various sizes of it.
Despite such practices, there is wisdom in celebrating the Feast of
the Sto. Niño. Today's readings attest to it. In the first reading
from Isaiah, the child Jesus is implied as the promised one. This
Emmanuel shall be given to us as he will work for peace and salvation
of the world. Moreover, in the Gospel passage, Jesus shows his special
fondness for children. When these little ones were being shooed away
by his disciples, Jesus reprimands them and tells them to allow the
children to go to him. What, then, are in children that make them so
appealing and lovable to Jesus?
We find children to be full of energy. Children are also curious and
dependent on us. This is especially true of infants and very young
children. They are dependent on the adults for their physical, psycho
emotional, social, and spiritual needs. Then of course, we see in our
children — hope and the future.
All the aforementioned traits of children were true as far as the
child Jesus was concerned. He was surely loved by people around him
who found him so cute and lovable. Jesus was curious about so many
things. We just have to cite the time when he stayed in Jerusalem
without the knowledge of his parents. He was found in a discussion
with elders and teachers as they grappled with the mysteries in life.
He stayed in Nazareth for a long time growing in wisdom and was reared
well by his parents, Joseph and Mary. Finally, his resiliency showed
in his capacity to persevere in his mission despite the mounting
opposition that he had to face from religious authorities.
But nowadays, if we look closely around us, it is very depressing to
see so many street children who have to fend for themselves. We do not
have to go too far. We see many children begging and selling all kinds
of things in our city streets.
Many children suffer because they do not live with their parents.
Perhaps their parents are forced to work abroad or in a different city
in order to earn a living. There is economic improvement in their
lives but sometimes, the costs do not seem to match the benefits.
Family ties weaken. Children are taken cared of by a single parent or
even relatives who at times do not give enough attention to rearing
the children. The result is — these children are not taught the right
values in life.
On this Feast of the Sto. Niño, it is good to remember how we can give
importance and value to children just as Jesus did. What can we do to
save our children?
As for ourselves, today's feast gently reminds us of the importance to
be childlike and not childish in our relations particularly with God.
It is important for us to us realize our essential dependence on God.
Instead of becoming proud, cynical, and too self-sufficient, may we
cultivate in ourselves grateful hearts as we continue to be awed and
stupefied like children with the wonders that God unceasingly shows
and bestows on us.
We pray …
… for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the
… for the speedy recovery and healing of Erika
… for the safety, enlightenment and wisdom of Mary Beth Valenteros
… for the good health of the Valenteros family
… for the eternal repose of the soul of Maria Uy. Eternal rest grant
unto her and may perpetual light shine upon her. May she and all the
dearly departed rest in peace.
… for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary.
- Wedding Anniversary: James & Alice Chuaunsu
- Wedding Anniversary: Dr. Gavino & Emma Gaerlan
- In Memoriam (+): Jose Ma. L. Uy Sr
… for the healing and peace of all families
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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