If there was no pandemic, this weekend would have been the start of colorful and fun festivals this merry month of January. The Sinulog in Cebu, the Ati-Atihan in Kalibo, Aklan, and the Dinagyang in Iloilo; all these celebrate the Feast of the Sto. Niño. You can go around the Islands and you can still find a lot more other fiestas and celebrations honoring the Child Jesus. Without much thinking, you can easily say that the Sto. Niño is extremely popular in the Philippines.
In today’s Gospel (Mk. 10: 13-16) we can see that Jesus warned that the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to people like little children,
“Amen, I say to you, whoever does not accept the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it.”
Being a child speaks of innocence, simplicity and humility. We can relate with these as we have been small children ages past. Being “like a child” is to recognize our nothingness, smallness, and weaknesses in front of God. When we become “like little children”, we become obedient, submissive and humble before God. We follow His guidance, directions and will for our lives. We act like how He wants us to be. We become His arms and voice in this world. We do these not only because these glorify God, but becoming childlike will help us become better and faithful followers of Christ. We become more loving to others and help strengthen society by recognizing the various problems affecting our fellowmen. We may not be able to do it on a fabulous scale, but we can start at home by teaching our children the value of love, social justice, and peace. We build our families in the fear and love of God.
On this feast of the Sto. Niño, let us again discover the child in us, and imitate Jesus’ childlike qualities of innocence, simplicity, and total dependence on God. These attitudes should make us grow in faith and action.
Dear Lord, as we journey on, may we not forget to bring along with us childlike qualities of innocence, simplicity, and humility. Amen.
“The Lord is King, let the many islands be glad!” (Ps. 97:1)