Saturday, January 14, 2017
STO. NINO Proper Feast in the Philippines
January 15, 2017 SUNDAY
STO. NINO Proper Feast in the Philippines
[Cebu: Solemnity of the Most Holy Name of Jesus]
Is 9: 1- 6 / Eph 1: 3- 6, 15- 18 / 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 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.
FROM THE 2ND READING: Eph 1:5-6
From 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.
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.
Filipinos have a great devotion to the Christ-Child, popularly known as the Sto. Nino. Sinulog, Dinagyang and Ati-Atihan are religious-cultural festivities held in various parts of the Visayas in January to commemorate and highlight this devotion. The image of the Sto. Nino finds a place in many homes, business and service establishments in the whole country. This popular devotion to the Christ-Child reflects Filipinos' yearning for intimacy with God.
Pope Francis said that "Jesus Christ is the face of God's mercy." (Misericordiae Vultus, 7) For most Filipinos the Sto. Nino is the palpable face of God.
A child is non-threatening. With the Sto. Nino we are not fearful of being rejected or humiliated. With him we can be child-like, honest, and at times even childish.
Perhaps our child-like attitude is one reason why we see innumerable variations of the Sto. Nino image. Other than the princely green and gold outfit of the royal Infant of Prague, we find the Sto. Nino dressed as a farmer or a fisherman or a policeman or almost whatever is human.
Jesus was a carpenter, knowing the value of work and the daily challenge of making ends meet for daily life. He was not ashamed to do man's work; he toiled and understood each day's hard work as a carpenter. Dressing up the Christ Child according to one's livelihood of fancy could indeed be Spirit-inspired, as we are moved to fervently ask God to bless the work of our hands and minds and to provide for us, each day, our daily bread through our work.
We thank God for choosing to be born among us and become our Sto. Nino. In the Christ-Child we see God caring for us intensely, loving us faithfully and constantly providing for our daily needs, material and spiritual. In this way we learn to appreciate that Jesus Christ is indeed "the face of God's mercy." Viva e! Senor! Viva Sto. Nino!
WE PRAY FOR MTQ DAILY PRAYER INTENTIONS:
RAYMOND & CHARLENE BLANCHE YU BANZAL
CHARLIE C. GARLAN
Have a good day!
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