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Bishop: Let's honor Sto. Nino by taking care of the weak and small.

Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo on Sunday urged the Filipino Catholic faithful to show devotion to the Sto. Nino by showing compassion and acceptance toward those considered to be 'small people' in the society.

'Filipinos' devotion to the Sto. Nino is a manifestation of their love for children,' said Pabillo in his homily during Sunday'scelebration of the Feast of the Child Jesus in Tondo, Manila.

'Children depict small people there are small people in our society who are ignored like the weak, the disabled, elderly, street people, those who are in prison, the indigenous people. The path to greatness is to accept these people. Let us not drive them away,' he added.

Pabillo said fighting abortion, death penalty, and extra-judicial killings could be manifestation of one's devotion to the image of the Child Jesus.

'That small person inside a mother's womb has a life already and has a right [to live]. We cannot just eliminate and remove it through abortion. Same reason why we do not agree with the resumption of death penalty even for those who committed crimes. The victims of EJK are the small people, they are those who have less or even nothing in life. They are still humans like us, they should be accepted instead of being sneered at,' Pabillo said.

'Jesus said we should imitate the children's humility toward the small people; their humility and readiness to obey and understand God. Let us accept the small people in our society. Let's care for them and let's learn how to be humble,' he added.

Pabillo also spoke about marriage and divorce during the homily, saying protecting the sanctity of marriage by rejecting divorce can be another way of showing devotion to the Child Jesus because it's a manifestation of love for children in a family.

'We love children that's why we identify them with Sto. Nino. We have to care for them, but how do we care for them? When a family breaks, children are the ones who suffer, that's why we do not like divorce. That is not the solution to the problems in the family. The problem should be fixed not by separation of parents because children suffer,' he said.

'We need the help of God to solve problems in the family, that's why we have the unique blessing for families and that is the sacrament of marriage. That is why marriage in a church is important. More than the ceremony and papers, the blessing of God is important in a family life,' Pabillo added.

He urged unmarried couples who have been living together and have children to seal their union through marriage.

'Try to get married, or encourage those whom you know are living together but not yet married to get married so they can receive the blessings of God. But remember it's not enough that you get married in church. We have to shower our family with prayers. Pray as one family. We need that to strengthen our family and to show that we really care and love our children,' Pabillo said.

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Publication:Philippines Daily Inquirer (Makati City, Philippines)
Date:Jan 15, 2017
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