Saturday, January 16, 2016

Feast of the Sto. Niño

The gift of Sto. Niño to our land

Lk. 2, 41 - 52

We rejoice in this special day that we are celebrating the Feast of the Sto. Niño.  This is not just a feast about Cebu; rather, it is about the rest of the Philippines that the faith was first introduced to our shores.

In the second reading, St. Paul talks about blessing God the Father for electing or choosing the Ephesian Christian community before the world began.  Of course this refers to all followers of Christ and in a special way, we Filipinos are privileged that the faith was planted in our country and we are now reaping the fruits of a bountiful harvest.

There are three reasons why we are blessed by the Child Jesus.  First, we are made holy and blameless in His sight.  This is a gift and a challenge - to live as a people in holiness and influencing all other Filipinos to live a life of holiness.

Second, that the faith may find its way in the very fabric of our national life like the incarnation of Jesus.  All the Church teachings are bearing fruit in the renewal of every Filipino in all aspects of life - political, economic, social, cultural, and religious.

And third, that we may continue to grow in grace, in age, and in wisdom, till our knowledge of Jesus is complete.

This is the gift of the Sto. Niño in our country.  Viva Pit Señor!

Saturday, January 02, 2016

The Epiphany of the Lord

Light vs. darkness

Matthew 2:1-12

It was meant that the mystery of God would be revealed like light not just to the Jews but even to Gentiles which means to everyone.  But it will take a discerning heart that is open to God to know this mystery.

As we start laying down our Christmas decorations and wrapping up Christmas, let Christ's birth not just be a passing moment but a daily opportunity of conversion for us.  Epiphany becomes moment of recognizing Jesus through that light which guides us in our lives and our ability to separate light from darkness.

The first light in the level of the heart.  People living in the dark would always be perturbed; worried, worried and anxious. They would also employ negative feelings against others and life itself.  But people of the light would always feel excited; the sight of the star would fill them with delight.

The second light is in the level of the mind.  People of darkness would live a life of lies.  Herod thinks he is the highest leader and not the One who is to come.  The wise men would always be guided in their decisions.  God is the One guiding them.

The third level is in life itself.  People of light will regard their lives as gifts to be given away while people of the dark would want to take away life from others.  Eventually, they are taking away life from themselves.

Remember Epiphany: we can see the face of Jesus who is our light even after Christmas.