Hope of our People
A story is told about a Filipino boy whose family just migrated to the United States. While in class, the teacher gave them an assignment to bring their preferred “Superhero” and explain its choice.
Thus each student brought to class a model of their superhero. One brought a model of Superman because he can fly faster than a speeding bullet; he is invincible and good hearted. Another presented Spiderman because of his amazing skills in climbing walls and buildings. Others presented Wonder Woman, Batman, Captain America and many others.
When it was the Filipino boy’s turn, he brought out an image of the Sto. Niño. “This is my superhero!” he declared. His classmates were laughing. They have never seen this superhero before in movies or films. They queried: “What is the name of your superhero and what can he do?”
He began to explain: “My superhero is the Sto. Niño. He can do all the things your superheroes can do – he also can fly. He is invincible. He never dies. He is so kind-hearted and very helpful to those in need. He can even do more – He can heal the sick; make the dead rise from their graves; He can drive out demons; He can walk on water; He can command the wind and waves to be still; He can make your business prosper – all the things your superheroes cannot do.
What is wonderful, He does extraordinary things not only in difficult times; when you are in need but all the time. In the ordinary moments of life, He is there for me! The kids were amazed of the Sto. Niño, the Filipino boy’s Superhero.
Today there is a proliferation of movies about Superheroes. Yet they are all fictional characters. In times of difficulties, they are absent in our life. The Sto. Niño is for real! We can always count on Him!
The Sto. Niño is more than a Superhero; He is more than a wonder boy. The prophet Isaiah (Is 9:6) calls him: “God-Hero. Father forever. Prince of Peace.” John the Apostle asserts that He is God become Man; “the Word made flesh and dwelt among us.”
We Filipinos – especially Cebuanos are known for our deep love and devotion to the Sto. Niño, the Holy Child. We always have that gut feeling that we are favored; we are protected and cared for especially in times of danger and calamities. One of the biggest contingent this year to join the Sinulog Grand Parade is from Masbate – 900 participants including dancers, choreographers and props men. They come as pilgrims to thank the Holy Child for sparing their province from the super typhoon Yolanda.
This Feast is a reminder for us to imitate Jesus. That like Him, we may be pleasing to God. The focus of the celebration is the veneration of the image. It reminds us of the God we cannot see; a visual aid to nourish faith. But more than the image, our love and devotion is centered on the Person and Teachings of Jesus who out of love for us became a child, matured in wisdom, preached about God’s kingdom, suffered and died for us and rose from the dead.
Jesus invites us to imitate 3 Qualities that made Him pleasing to His Father: Total Trust; Unconditional Obedience and Sincere Compassion.
1 Total Trust
Trust means faith; it means surrender. Jesus was convinced that the Father knows best. Faith is more than positive thinking. It is believing that God is trustworthy even when things turn our differently from what we expected. Jesus trusted His Father with His life: he resigned from being a carpenter; he left his home and his mother to focus on His Father’s business of building the kingdom; to seek the least and lost.
People today say: to see is to believe. But for Jesus it’s the opposite. Believe and your will see God’s power; believe and you will see miracles!
2 Unconditional Obedience
Jesus had the attitude of “Your will be done.” He was like a handkerchief in the Father’s hand. Obedience is a proof of love. When Jesus was 12, he got lost because he needed to be in his Father’s house.
The test of our love for God is obedience. Abraham’s love was tested when God asked him to offer his son. In the beginning of time Satan broke away from God by declaring: “I will not serve!” But Jesus obeyed even when it was most distasteful and inconvenient. There is no love without sacrifice. Hence the greater the love, the greater the sacrifice. For one who obeys totally, loves totally.
3 Sincere Compassion
Jesus had a special love for children and youth. He took a little child as a model for true discipleship. Today, many children are exploited. Many are victims of abuse and abortion. Our love for the Sto. Niño should not stop at honoring the image. It should challenge us to do concrete steps to help and implement projects and programs that will improve the quality of life of children and youth.
Viva Pit Senyor!Disclaimer: This section of the website is a personal creative writing of the author and does not necessarily reflect the official views, opinion, or policies of the Salesians of Don Bosco – Philippines South Province. For concerns on the content, style, and grammar of this piece, please contact us.