READINGS for 2008-01-20

Didache | Companion | Sabbath



Feast of Sto. Niño
The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light. – Isaiah 9:1
Did you know that if you are born disabled in Ghana, West Africa, you are most likely to be poisoned, left to die or hidden away? Emmanuel Yeboah was born with a deformed right leg. His mother, although advised to kill Emmanuel, decided to keep him alive.
        When his mother died, he embarked on a mission to change the plight of his disabled countrymen. He proved to them that “disability doesn’t mean inability.” He pedaled 610 kilometers across Ghana riding a bike using only his left leg. This caught the attention of people and raised awareness about disability. He raised funds for his different projects for the disabled.
        Emmanuel’s life parallel’s that of Jesus’. They were born poor. Even as a child, some people wanted to kill them but failed. They both have a burning mission in their hearts — to bring light and hope to this darkened world. Emmanuel is a gift to his countrymen. Our Lord Jesus is God’s gift to mankind. Jesus said, “I have come that you might have life and have it to the fullest.” Both of them had nothing but gave everything and changed a nation and its people forever. Judith Concepcion
What is your mission? What can you do to make a difference in the life of even just one person?
Lord, make me more loving and be a light to the people I meet every day.


The Feast of the Sto. Niño should not be some sort of sentimental remembrance of the baby Jesus. Yes, Jesus was born into the world as a helpless baby, but as the first reading reminds us, He will hold the destiny of the world in His hands. He is truly King and Lord and, even as a child, we must not forget the glory and majesty of Jesus. Each of us is called to manifest this glory to the world through a faithful Christian life.
Isaiah 9: 1-6
1 The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; upon those who dwelt in the land of gloom a light has shone. 2 You have brought them abundant joy and great rejoicing, as they rejoice before you as at the harvest, as men make merry when dividing spoils. 3 For the yoke that burdened them, the pole on their shoulder, and the rod of their taskmaster you have smashed, as on the day of Midian. 4 For every boot that tramped in battle, every cloak rolled in blood, will be burned as fuel for flames. 5 For a child is born to us, a son is given us; upon his shoulder dominion rests. They name him: Wonder-counselor, God-hero, Father-forever, Prince of Peace. 6 His dominion is vast and forever peaceful, from David’s throne, and over his kingdom, which he confirms and sustains by judgment and justice, both now and forever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this!
Psalm 98: 1, 2-3ab, 3cd-4, 5-6
R: All the ends of the earth have seen the victory of our God.
1 Sing to the LORD a new song, for he has done wondrous deeds; his right hand has won victory for him, his holy arm. (R) 2 The LORD has made his salvation known; in the sight of the nations he has revealed his justice. 3 He has remembered his kindness and his faithfulness toward the house of Israel. (R) All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation by our God. 4 Sing joyfully to the LORD, all you lands; break into song; sing praise. (R) 5 Sing praise to the LORD with the harp, with the harp and melodious song. 6 With trumpets and the sound of the horn sing joyfully before the King, the LORD. (R)
We must always seek to grow in our faith. When we get comfortable there is the ever-present danger of becoming complacent as well. God calls us to live our Christian lives to the full. I cannot think of a sadder reality than arriving at the end of our lives only to find out what we missed out on because we were too selfish with our time and resources during this life. The best way to avoid this trap is to be an active and contributing member of our Christian communities.
Ephesians 1:3-6, 15-18
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavens, 4 as he chose us in him, before the foundation of the world, to be holy and without blemish before him. In love 5 he destined us for adoption to himself through Jesus Christ, in accord with the favor of his will, 6 for the praise of the glory of his grace that he granted us in the beloved. 15 Therefore, I, too, hearing of your faith in the Lord Jesus and of your love for all the holy ones, 16 do not cease giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, 17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation resulting in knowledge of him. 18 May the eyes of [your] hearts be enlightened, that you may know what is the hope that belongs to his call, what are the riches of glory in his inheritance among the holy ones.
Our understanding of this feast must always reflect the humility of Jesus in coming among us as one of us. We should always seek to be a witness to this truth through our own lives. This does not mean that we remain eternally young like the Sto. Nino, but that we remain eternally trusting in our faith in God as a child is with his/her parents. It is faith that must become the foundation of all that we do.
Matthew 18: 1-5 , 10
1 At that time the disciples approached Jesus and said, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” 2 He called a child over, placed it in their midst, 3 and said, “Amen, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 5 And whoever receives one child such as this in my name receives me. 10 “See that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that their angels in heaven always look upon the face of my heavenly Father.
my reflections
think: We should remain eternally trusting in our faith in God as a child is with his/her parents. It is faith that must become the foundation of all that we do.

God’s special verse/thought for me today________________

Thank You Lord for: ____________________________________
My weekly time with God
Things to be grateful for from the past week
Things to ask God for in the coming week
Most important word God told me this week


GroWinG up in faith
How different is this image of the Sto. Niño from the baby Jesus we put in our belen during the Christmas Season. Even though a child, the Sto. Niño stands in front of me in the full regalia of a king: dressed in royal purple, a crown on His head, the scepter (a symbol of power) in His right hand, the globe (a symbol of ruling the universe) in His left. In front of me is the King of kings, the Prince of Peace. The Sto. Niño makes us aware that Jesus became human like us yet He was still the Son of God who rules as King of the universe.
        When we venerate the Sto. Niño, we should remember that this Child is the same Jesus who preached, and healed, and finally died for us on the cross. It is the same Jesus who is present in the Holy Eucharist. It is the same Jesus who will come again to judge the living and the dead. It is the glorified Christ who sits at the right hand of the Father, to whom the fate of humankind was entrusted.
        Pope John Paul II reminded the faithful in a homily in Cebu that the child Jesus did not remain a child — He grew up. The Pope said, “In the same way, we must grow up in our faith.” As the child Jesus grew up, so we have to grow up in our faith and prayer life. To face the demands and trials of life, we need a stronger and more mature faith. We should continue growing and learning because the problems we face in life will not cease but also grow with time.
        The feast of the Sto. Niño is a reminder and a challenge to take care of our spiritual growth. When Jesus said we have to become like little children, He means that we rely only on our heavenly Father, and not on ourselves, on money or prestige. Then we have the attitude of the Child Jesus and grow and mature and become what God wants us to be: His
beloved children. The image of the Sto. Niño encourages us to grow up spiritually, to trust God like a child and mature spiritually in a faith that enables us to face whatever difficulties may lie ahead. Fr. Rudy Horst
Refection Question:
The Infant Jesus in royal robes asks today: Are you still developing your faith? What are you doing to strengthen your faith?
Jesus, help me to get rid of all pride and become more childlike, trusting only in You and my Father in heaven.
St. Fabian, pope and martyr, pray for us. 

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