January 21 (Sunday)
FEAST OF STO. NIÑO (Philippines)
Psalter: Proper / (White)
Responsorial Psalm: Ps 97: 1, 2-3, 3-4, 5-6: All the ends of the earth have seen the saving power of God.
1st Reading: Isaiah 9: 1-6
The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light. A light has dawned on those who live in the land of the shadow of death. You have enlarged the nation; you have increased their joy. They rejoice before you, as people rejoice at harvest time as they rejoice in dividing the spoil. For the yoke of their burden, the bar across their shoulders, the rod of their oppressors, you have broken it as on the day of Midian.
Every warrior’s boot that tramped in war, every cloak rolled in blood, will be thrown out for burning, will serve as fuel for the fire. For a child is born to us, a son is given us; the royal ornament is laid upon his shoulder, and his name is proclaimed: “Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
To the increase of his powerful rule in peace, there will be no end. Vast will be his dominion, he will reign on David’s throne and over all his kingdom, to establish and uphold it with justice and righteousness from this time onward and forever.
The zealous love of Yahweh Sabbath will do this.
2nd Reading: Ephesians 1: 3-6, 15-18
Blessed be God, the Father of Christ Jesus our Lord, who, in Christ, has blessed us from heaven, with every spiritual blessing. God chose us, in Christ, before the creation of the world, to be holy, and without sin in his presence.
From eternity he destined us, in love, to be his adopted sons and daughters, through Christ Jesus, thus fulfilling his free and generous will. This goal suited him: that his loving-kindness, which he granted us in his beloved might finally receive all glory and praise.
I have been told of your faith and your affection toward all the believers, so I always give thanks to God, remembering you in my prayers.
May the God of Christ Jesus our Lord, the Father of glory, reveal himself to you, and give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation, that you may know him.
May he enlighten your inner vision, that you may appreciate the things we hope for, since we were called by God. May you know how great is the inheritance, the glory, God sets apart for his saints.
Gospel: Mk 10: 13-16
People were bringing their little children to him to have him touch them; and the disciples rebuked them for this.
When Jesus noticed it, he was very angry and said, “Let the children come to me and don’t stop them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it.” Then he took the children in his arms and, laying his hands on them, blessed them.
Read: People were bringing their children to Jesus. However, the disciples rebuked them. Jesus became angry and he told his disciples not to stop the children from coming to him because the kingdom of God belongs to such children. Jesus further told them that whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it. Jesus took the children in his arm. He also blessed the children by laying his hands on them.
Reflect: Today, the Philippine Church celebrates the Feast of the Sto. Niño, the Feast of the Holy Child Jesus.
Today’s Gospel narrates how the disciples tried stopping people who were bringing their children to Jesus. Jesus told his disciples to let the children come to him and not to hinder them.
Perhaps, the disciples tried to stop the people in bringing their children to Jesus because they were regarding the children to be not significant enough to be worthy of Jesus’ attention.
In the eyes of his disciples, Jesus must be very busy to be disturbed by children whom they seemed to regard to be insignificant. But for Jesus, nobody is insignificant. For Jesus, everyone is precious. As devotees of Sto. Niño, we are called to grow in our way of dealing with people, adults and children alike. May we learn how to relate well with all kinds of people as we raise to the Child Jesus our “urgent petitions.” Viva Pit Señor!
Pray: Let us pray to Sto. Niño that we may truly learn how to relate well with all kinds of people.
Act: Today, let us do something that will make the children around us happy.
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