FEAST OF THE STO. NIÑO
•January 14, 2023
FEAST OF THE STO. NIÑO (January 15, 2023)
Bullet Points for Reflection (Matthew 18:1-5/10)
- One of the most popular devotions in the Philippines is the devotion to the Santo Niṅo. Practically you can see the image of the Sto. Niṅo in every corner of the archipelago… from jeepneys to barbershops…. And dressed in different styles. It’s just hard to separate Sto. Niṅo from the Christianity of Filipinos.
- It is said that the original image now found in Cebu was brought to the archipelago by Magellan. It is also said that on the occasion of the baptism of Queen Juana of Cebu in 1521, Ferdinand Magellan gave her an image of the Child Jesus as a gift. The devotion started over 500 years ago. But since then, more than 500 years ago, a lot of the baptized have not really grown to be mature Christians. One sociologist commented: siguro malakas ang debosyon natin sa Sto. Nino because we want Jesus to stay young forever—cute, harmless, and as a child, he does not make a lot of demands. But then, we must remember that Jesus grew in age, wisdom, and stature. He became a mature person. And so, we must also grow in our Christian faith – into mature Christians.
- During the Feast of the Santo Niṅo, we focus our celebration on the childhood of Jesus. In the gospel reading (Mt 18:1-5, 10), Jesus makes childlikeness (the positive qualities of a child), not childishness (an adult who thinks and acts like a child) as a precondition to membership in His kingdom when he said, whoever does not accept the kingdom of God like a child, will not enter it (Mk 10:15, Lk 18:17).
- In the Gospel, the disciples asked the Lord who is the greatest in the Kingdom of God. In answer, Jesus took a child and told the disciples – “unless you turn and become children, you will not enter into the kingdom of heaven.”
- With that the Lord is trying to give us qualities that make the child the symbol of those who are citizens of the kingdom: 1) THE CHILD’S HUMILITY and 2) THE CHILD’S DEPENDENCE; and 3) CHILD’S TRUST.
- The child’s HUMILITY should be the pattern of the Christian’s behavior toward his fellow men and the child’s DEPENDENCE and TRUST are the pattern of a Christian’s attitude towards God.