Homily on the Feast of Sto. Nino

Feast of Sto. Niňo.
3rd Sunday of January 2006.
Humility and Defense.

Today, we celebrate the Feast of Sto. Niňo. An image and reality of a Christian God that let him be experienced as a child to teach us a lot of things but let me share two important things to attain eternal life.

First, the Lord teaches us the value of humility.
The world around us tells us that to be great means to be wealthy, well known or popular, to be pretty, to be handsome, to receive a lot of rewards and degrees on one’s field of expertise, etc.. However, the Lord tells us of another thing. To be the greatest is to be humble like a child. To be humble like a child is a prerequisite to eternal life.

Jesus, himself exemplifies this by emptying himself of being God by becoming a man. Why? God’s way of telling our very own consciousness that humility is an important ingredient in becoming great because He is the Greatest. Another thing, humility as an integral factor of seeing the truth that lies within experiences, people and faith. A child surely will tell you who really you are. Quite and simple. Provided this child is beyond the influence of adult that somehow blurred one’s insight to accommodate compromises and malice.

Second, never despise any of these little ones.
Infants and children are symbols of innocence, defenseless, downtrodden, and the have-nots. Despising anyone is not a Christian teaching but to despise any of these little ones will be punished more. It is adding insult to injury. An old friend once told me, despised anyone but never the poor because the little integrity left from them will be taken away. Once the little they have is taken away, they are ready to salvage it whatever might be the cause. They can kill for it. It is scary, huh! This is one of the realities that I have discovered in this little parish who happens to be notorious on killings. Since my arrival, we have prayed for this. We have to be careful, on how and what we say to our fellow man. I believe some of the killings that have occurred here resulted from simple words that somehow or another insulted another person that harbor hatred on their heart.

These two important issues challenges us to deepen our spirituality and enliven our fellowship as Christians.

Jesus is asking us to be child-like not childish. We must humble ourselves not only before God but also before one another. Humility let us see clearly as the child sees the truth in each and everyone of us. We let ourselves be seen as the way God see us.

Despise has many forms.
It is sad to say that there are people who took and are taking opportunity to the defenseless and the downtrodden. Are we, a generation too corrupt to take advantage on the weakness of other men and women. Seeing people taking advantaged of those who are suffering from psychological imbalance. Fooling people knowing that they are nice.
One striking experience, I have encountered, when I went to manila before Christmas. Along the boundary of Laguna and Rizal provinces, I saw many children along the highways asking for alms. Somebody commented, “it is Christmas time, maybe some commuters might pity their situation, one peso or ten is not a burden for somebody to give away for a cause”. (This is just one of the indications of worsening economic situation of the country. I am not against giving. My whole life depends on your generosity). My heart is pumping, would like to burst in anger. Not because of the present economic situation but more on the degradation of one’s integrity initiated by those who should defend most these little ones. Simply, because the parents of these children let them near the highways while cars, jeepneys, buses and trucks passed by endangering their safety. Are we that desperate? Is there nothing left on us that let our children on the brink of physical and moral destruction. Or is this the reality most of us would like to believe? After several minutes, maybe after three towns of Rizal, I saw Barrangay Tanod (Village Police) waving their hands asking also for alms. Well, this is not the worst scenario that one might encounter in this world, but we should not despise any on these “little ones”. Lest by their own parents.

We pray for humility, we pray that we might not despise anyone especially the little ones. We pray that we might have the strength to defend these little once.

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