Saturday, January 19, 2013
FEAST OF THE STO. NIÑO - C
FEAST OF THE STO. NIÑO - C
Is 9:1-6 / Eph 1:3-6, 15-18 / Lk 2:41-52
The people who walk in darkness have seen a great light. A light has dawned on those who live in the land of the shadow of death. You have enlarged the nation; you have increased their joy. They rejoice before you, as people rejoice at harvest time as they rejoice in dividing the spoil. For the yoke of their burden, the bar across their shoulders, the rod of their oppressors, you have broken it as on the day of Midian. Every warrior's boot that tramped in war, every cloak rolled in blood, will be thrown out for burning, will serve as fuel for the fire. For a child is born to us, a son is given us; the royal ornament is laid upon his shoulder, and his name is proclaimed: "Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace." To the increase of his powerful rule in peace, there will be no end. Vast will be his dominion, he will reign on David's throne and over all his kingdom, to establish and uphold it with justice and righteousness from this time onward and forever. The zealous love of Yahweh Sabaoth will do this.
EPHESIANS 1:3-6, 15-18
Blessed be God, the Father of Christ Jesus our Lord, who in Christ has blessed us from heaven with every spiritual blessing. God chose us in Christ before the creation of the world to be holy and without sin in his presence. From eternity he destined us in love to be his adopted sons and daughters through Christ Jesus, thus fulfilling his free and generous will. This goal suited him: that his loving-kindness which he granted us in his Beloved might finally receive all glory and praise. I have been told of your faith and your affection towards all the believers, so I always give thanks to God, remembering you in my prayers. May the God of Christ Jesus our Lord, the Father of Glory, reveal himself to you and give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation, that you may know him. May he enlighten your inner vision, that you may appreciate the things we hope for, since we were called by God. May you know how great is the inheritance, the glory, God sets apart for his saints;
Every year the parents of Jesus went to Jerusalem for the Feast of the Passover, as was customary. And when Jesus was twelve years old, he went up with them, according to the custom of this feast. After the festival was over, they returned, but the boy Jesus remained in Jerusalem, and his parents did not know it. They thought he was in the company, and after walking the whole day they looked for him among their relatives and friends. As they did not find him, they went back to Jerusalem searching for him, and on the third day they found him in the Temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking questions. And all the people were amazed at his understanding and his answers. His parents were very surprised when they saw him, and his mother said to him, "Son, why have you done this to us? Your father and I were very worried while searching for you." Then he said to them, "Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father's house?" But they did not understand this answer. Jesus went down with them, returning to Nazareth, and he continued to be subject to them. As for his mother, she kept all these things in her heart. And Jesus increased in wisdom and age, and in divine and human favor.
The Feast of the Sto. Niño is special for the Church in the Philippines. When the Spaniards under Ferdinand Magellan "discovered" the Philippines in 1521, they befriended King Humabon and Queen Juana of Cebu. At their conversion to Christianity and subsequent baptism, Queen Juana was gifted with an image of the Child Jesus. Somehow this same image was recovered from a fire in 1565 by a subsequent Spanish expedition to the Philippines. This same image is now venerated at the Sto. Niño Basilica in Cebu City. The image is then the oldest testimony to Christianity in the Philippines.
Other notable church-centers of devotion to the Sto. Niño are in Tondo and Pandacan in Manila. Large and extravagant semi-religious, secular celebrations of the Sto. Niño with street dancing and processions/parades are festivals in Cebu (Sinulog), Capiz (Ati-atihan) and Iloilo (Dinagyang) and various other places.
The Sto. Niño, the Black Nazarene in Quiapo and Our Lady of Peñafrancia and the Divine Rostro in Naga are perhaps the most widespread objects of popular religious devotion in the country.
Devotion to the Sto. Niño is widespread in the country: the Child Jesus is represented in myriad ways and forms, professions and attires. The Sto. Niño is venerated in homes and is present behind cash registers and lobbies of shops, restaurants and offices.
The liturgical celebrations of the feast at the Basilica of the Sto. Niño in Cebu and the procession are very inspiring manifestations of the faith of our people: large congregations of people singing with joy at Masses, people waving white handkerchiefs and releasing balloons in tribute to the Sto. Niño, long lines of devotees in silent prayer and petition before the image of the Sto. Niño.
The readings of the feast are Advent and Christmas season readings. The first reading from Isaiah speaks of "a child . . . born to us, a son . . . given to us; the royal ornament is laid upon his shoulder, and his name is proclaimed: `Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.' "The Sto. Niño is the promised One, the Messiah of God.
The second reading from Ephesians reminds us of the central role of Christ Jesus in the history of the world and of salvation history.
The Gospel reading is about the finding of the twelve year old Jesus in the temple and his quiet life growing up in Nazareth: " `Son, why have you done this to us? Your father and I were very worried while searching for you.' Then he said to them, `Why were you looking for me? Do you not know that I must be in my Father's house?' . . . Jesus went down with them, returning to Nazareth, and he continued to be subject to them ... And Jesus increased in wisdom and age, and in divine and human favor."
There is also a very famous and much venerated image of the Infant Jesus in Prague of the Czech Republic. Also of Spanish origin, the Infant Jesus of Prague is seen as a King in blessing, with a huge crown and orb, and with a variety of clothes donated by royalty and very famous and influential people. Yet, unlike the Filipino Sto. Niño, the Infant Jesus of Prague is not represented in a variety of professions and attires.
Why do we Filipinos have such a great devotion to the Sto. Niño? The Sto. Niño is represented for us as the young Child Jesus, not the Infant Jesus of Christmas, not the boy Jesus. The Sto. Niño of Cebu is represented as one with power. The Sto. Niño is now represented in various "professions" and attires, really a way of sanctifying all these various profession: farmers and fishermen, policemen and firemen, etc.
The Sto. Niño has been with us since our reception of the Christian faith in 1521. The Sto. Niño has been for us a most credible symbol and manifestation of God's great love and care. The Sto. Niño is the ever-present, ever-loving God-made-man, "Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace." The Sto. Niño is for many in the Philippines the image and presence of the living and loving God.
We pray …
… for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the unborn.
… for the speedy recovery and healing of
- Lydia and Judo Pe
- Melencio Go
- Nick Lucena
… for the personal intentions of
- Mon Torres
- Fleur Torres
- Ditas dela Paz
- Andy Lecaros
- Virginia Hernandez
… for the eternal repose of the soul of
- Nina De Leos Libiran
Eternal rest grant unto them and may perpetual light shine upon them. May they and all the dearly departed rest in peace.
… for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary.
- Birthday: Paul Hernandez
- Birthday: Oscar Pobre
- Birthday: Joaquin Yap
- Wedding Anniversary: Hilton & Rosana Chua Fong
- Wedding Anniversary: Wilfred & Sally Lim
- Thanksgiving: Mr. & Mrs. Tomas Tan & Family
… for families who are in need of healing
… 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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