15 January 2005: Second Sunday in Ordinary Time
Mark 10, 13-16: Feast of the Sto. Nino, Proper Feast in the Philippines
It was natural that Jewish mothers should wish their children to be blessed by a great and distinguished Rabbi especially on their 1st birthday. It was in this way that they brought the children to Jesus on this day. And Jesus said, “Let the children come to me.” This tells us a great deal about Jesus: he was a person who likes children, and whom children also cared for. What is it about children that Jesus liked and valued so much?
I believe it is the child’s trust. There is a time when children think his father knows best. They go through their life with the complete thought that no matter what befalls them, there is someone whom they can go back to, someone who loves and cares for them no matter what. This child who has acquired such an attitude grows up confident and hopeful; no matter what befalls them, they have completely placed themselves totally in the hands of their parents. So it is with our God. Teresa of Avila said, “Let nothing disturb you. Let nothing affright you. All things are passing. God only is changeless. Patience gains all things. He who has God wants nothing. God alone suffices.” To be willing to be in another’s hands, especially in God’s hands, to be open to surprises and gifts we never dreamed possible, is the gift of a child.
Thus, to have the attitude of a child means to re-develop in us the ability to wonder and to celebrate the simple things in life. Yesterday, the pre-novices went to their community sports and played “agawan base.” The college seminarians of San Jose Seminary are known to be the noisiest in their recreation because they play “hide and seek”. Lifestyle Channel tells us that the source of much serenity and happiness are in the simple things, and thus invites one to “go back to the basics.” Many of us have to look into the things that make us happy: many of our recreation are complicated and expensive, as if happiness is so fleeting, it comes with a price.
The feast of the Sto. Nino teaches us that we can learn from children. It takes an eye to celebrate each day. Amanda Bradley, said, “Make every day a holiday... celebrate blue skies, celebrate the trees and grass, the bees and the butterflies. Celebrate the birds that sing and the flowers that smell so sweet, the sun up high above your head, the earth beneath your feet. And celebrate the smiles you see, the cheerful words you hear, celebrate each moment that you spend with loved ones near. Celebrate the happiness that friends are always giving... Make every day a holiday, and celebrate... just living!
However many of us get bored of being children. We are in a rush to grow up, and then we long to be children again. The feast of the Sto. Niño should remind us who we are: that we are children of God, and thus we should trust Him at all times. Second, the feast of the Sto. Niño should remind us to celebrate the simple things in life, to make every day a celebration.