Catholic devotees gather for the holy mass
Picture: FRANCIS R. MALASIG
For years, the only known way of celebrating the feast of Saint John the Baptist aside from Novena and celebration of the Holy Eucharist is the dousing of water symbolizing the baptizing act of the saints to the faithful. I believe every catholic in the Philippines is aware of this. However, first time to see the "taong putik" which literally means mud people in Bibiclat in Aliaga, Nueva Ecija in the northern part of Luzon. The event, which has been observed in the Biblicat village since 1945, sees hundreds of devotees participating to seek blessings and bountiful harvests. The mud people are covered with mud and dress in dried banana leaves representing Saint John the Baptist.
Picture: JAY DIRECTO
Saint John the Baptist is the elder cousin of our Lord Jesus Christ, the son of Elizabeth and Zachary whom Jesus mother Mary visited before he was born. John was the name Elizabeth and Zachary chose to highlight God's graciousness not only to them but to the humankind as he is the precursor of our Lord Jesus Christ. He points out the long awaited promise of salvation brought by the Messiah.
I developed my homily on the point on the meaning of John's name. Saint John is reminding us today that God continually shows His graciousness to each and everyone of us. His Graces started pouring on us since of our baptism. We should not forget that since the beginning of our existence in baptism God deemed us as blessed and anointed to be part of His family. We should acknowledge and affirmed always this gift. It is only through the very foundation that we will be strengthen to accomplish the very mission that our God has entrusted to each and everyone of us.