Presided by the Papal Nuncio to the Philippines, H.E. Most Rev. Gabriele G. Caccia, D.D., the much-awaited concelebrated mass gathered hundreds of devoted mass-goers for the Grand Launching of the Santo Niño at 500 Years Celebration on November 13, 2019.
The Most Reverend Caccia, who came with the blessings of Pope Francis, gave the people tokens – photographs of the Pope – as a reminder that “Cebu is not far from the center and the heart of the Church.” The Prayer of the Holy Father was inscribed at the back as the Father seeks prayers for his mission.
He also cited the opening words of Pope Francis in the homily he gave before millions of Filipinos at the Quirino Grandstand five years ago, “The image of the Holy Child Jesus accompanied the spread of the Gospel in this country from the beginning. Dressed in the robes of a king, crowned and holding the scepter, the globe and the cross he continues to remind us of the link between God’s Kingdom and the mystery of spiritual childhood.”
The Most Reverend added that the mass-goers have nothing to fear when it comes to the Sto. Niño who is but a child. He enunciated, “The Child Jesus, the Sto. Niño, who of us has fear for a baby?” He preached that it is essential we recall that our God is not to be feared of, for he is always on our side and is not against us. He wants to give love, not fear.
“God wants to take the best of our nature out without fear but with joy because the definition of God is love,” he proclaimed. He urged the people to talk to God and entrust their lives to God like a child would to his parents with confidence.
In addition, the Most Reverend expressed that there may be problems in life and difficulties that we face along the way, but God is always with us throughout these trying times. He implored the devoted not to make decisions that would lead them astray like the prodigal son did. “Many times we realize that going far from God doesn’t bring happiness, doesn’t bring joy,” he stated.
“Our attitude should be always like the attitude of a child… Childlike but not childish,” the Papal Nuncio of the Philippines pronounced. Childlike is to be simple, humble, trustworthy, and kind; childish is to be immature and impatient. We must remain childlike in our lives and grow in faith as adults, like the child Jesus who finished on a cross for our salvation when he became man. Because when a child grows in spirit to become a man, this means one can reap and offer the fruits of forgiveness, understanding, and faith. This means one is ready to do their part in the Lord’s mission.
The Most Reverend said, “Every Christian share in the mission of God in a unique and personal way.” Healthcare professionals take part in the mission by healing those in need. Lawyers participate by defending the defenseless and upholding justice. Clergymen commit to the mission by preaching the Word of God. The fathers and mothers of families serve by raising their children lovingly and faithfully.
As we participate in God’s mission, “Let us ask to remain childlike in our life, let us ask to be able to be adults in faith.” /Lara Eviota- BMSN Media Centre volunteers