“At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, ‘Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?’ Then Jesus called a little child to Him, set him in the midst of them, and said, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. ‘Whoever receives one little child like this in My name receives Me’.” – Matthew 18: 1-5
We celebrate the Feast of Sto. Niño every 3rd Sunday of January, the Holy See has granted us special permission to celebrate it, a unique devotion among us Filipinos. It is a festive celebration which recalls our conversion to Christianity. We attended the 9am mass at St. Jude Parish and it was presided by Fr. Leo Luanzon, one of my favorite guest priests in the Parish.
An image of Senor Sto. Niño
What a great homily! Fr. Leo emphasized three points during his homily – Peace, Dependence and Obedience. In a family, it is always the children who drive us to be at peace with one another. We should always consider that children need our love and understanding . Young kids are solely dependent in us to take care of them and the nurturing does not stop even if they become adults. It is our responsibility as parents to teach them the proper values that they will carry until adult life. The behaviour of the child is reflected on how the parents teach him/her in early life.
Little children rendering a song after the Holy Mass
Fr. Leo Luanzon of the Marian Missionaries of the Holy Cross
We are also celebrating our town fiesta in Pangasinan. Our church is named Sto. Nino Parish. I grew up having two grandparents (my lolos) being active in the Parish and I remember the days when I used to tag along every Sunday to hear mass. One of the highlights of the Sunday masses was visiting the image of Sto. Nino and praying and touching his lovely face. The place where the image was enshrined was behind the altar and you have to climb the stairs to see it.The stairs were made of stones, roughly about a foot from one step to the next so you can just imagine how a child of six or seven would find it hard to climb it but always, the lovely image of the Sto. Nino was worth it all. During the nineties, the lovely image was stolen and it was never returned. I wonder why some people have the heart to steal religious images. What would they do with it?