Saturday, January 16, 2016
STO. NIÑO Proper Feast in the Philippines
17 January 2016
Proper Feast in the Philippines
Feast. White. Is 9: 1 – 6. Eph 1: 3 - 6. Mk 10: 13 –16.
Philippine devotion to the Sto. Nino goes back to 1521 when Spanish explorer Ferdinand Magellan gave a wooden statue of the Sto. Nino to Queen Juana of Cebu as a baptismal gift.
From the 1st Reading: Is 9: 1 – 2, 5 - 6
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 the people rejoice at harvest time as they rejoice in dividing the spoil. . . .
For a child is born for us, a son is given us; the royal ornament is laid upon his shoulder, and his named 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.
2nd Reading: Eph 1: 3 - 6
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 to eternity he destined us in love to be his 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.
From the Gospel Reading: Mk 10: 13 – 16
People were bringing their little children to him to have him touch them, and the disciples rebuked them for this. When Jesus noticed it, he was very angry and said, "Let the children come to me and don't stop them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it." Then he took the children in his arms and laying his hands on them, blessed them.
One of my fondest memories as a child of Chinese-Filipino descent is our regular trip to Divisoria and Ongpin in Manila. My parents would have only two rules when they brought me with them. The first rule was to "keep close." In a jungle like Divisoria, it was very easy to lose one's way or to get lost in the crowds. Of course, they did not want me to get lost in the crowds. The second rule was "to know our home address by heart." If I should get lost and someone asked me where I lived, I should be able to give our exact home address. These rules I have remembered and faithfully kept; and luckily, by keeping the first rule, I did not have to make use of the second rule.
In our Gospel reading today Jesus reprimanded his disciples for keeping the children away from him: "when Jesus noticed it, he was very angry." Contrary to what the disciples thought, Jesus wanted to have the children come to him. His primary reason: because the kingdom of God is truly for them and for those like them.
When in crowded situations, my parents wanted me to "keep close" so I would not get lost. In some similar way Jesus wanted the children close to him so they do not get lost. He also wanted them close to him because he loved them.
The Sto. Nino Feast, a celebration which recalls the earliest roots of Christianity in the Philippines, is a suitable occasion for this message, of the importance of keeping close to the Lord. Jesus reminds us that he wants to keep us close to him so we do not lose our way. Do we have the same desire to be close to Jesus? So I would not get lost?
Dearest Lord, do not let my "adult concerns" keep me away from you. Rather transform my heart so that I may always be like the children in today's Gospel reading – eager to come and be close to you. Help me to keep myself close to you so that I do not lose my way to you. Amen.
WE PRAY FOR MTQ DAILY PRAYER DIARY INTENTIONS:
Ester Reyes Tagud
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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