January 29, 2023

The disciples approached Jesus and said, “Who is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven? He called the child over, placed him in their midst, and said: Amen I say to you, unless you turn and become like little children, you will not enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven. And whoever receives a child such as this in my name receives me. See that you never despise one these little ones, for I say to you that their angels in heaven always look upon the face of my heavenly Father.” (Matthew 18:1-5,10)
Be childlike and not childish. Let us have the heart of a child even in our aging years. Have the soul of a child even in this materialistic world. If we have the heart and soul of a child, we will live happily and peacefully in this generation. Having a peaceful life is living the attitude and traits of a child.
Many children frequented my rectory in Kilong, Sagada, Mountain Province. They come in carefree and play inside the rectory. I find joy having them at table, at the fireplace, and at the vicinity of the church. I enjoy seeing them play, laugh, and sing, especially the song I taught them when they were younger, “Angel of God.”
They play and sometimes quarrel. Some will cry and still others will not even bother. But after a short while, even when tears have not yet dried, the children who quarreled are again playing happily and sharing food together. It is a heavenly picture when adults and old people do that.
But some will keep hatred and anger in their hearts for years and never open doors for forgiveness. That is the face of spiritual and emotional immaturity. Accumulated bitterness will naturally lead to psychosomatic illness.
Jesus took the child to teach us and open our eyes. Children are the “anawim of God,” anawim to mean that they are powerless yet powerful because Jesus protects and keeps them in his love. “Christ”, therefore, is the letter “C” in the word child.
It is easier to forgive when humility becomes a virtue in our life.
I was elated to learn from officials of Barangay Dalican, Bontoc, Mountain Province they are doing their best to solve conflicts within the communities. Settlement, reconciliation, and forgiveness happen only in humility.
Honesty is another beautiful virtue that will prevent us from deception, temptation, and corruption. If we are honest to ourselves, in our relationship, in the workplace, and to our profession, we will always enjoy the beauty of innocence. We don’t need to pretend to win people and positions. Transparency is the best reflection we can ever have.
To love without conditions is to love truthfully and fruitfully. Our dependence to the Lord is our ultimate power and strength amidst the materialistic and consumeristic world.
CHILD means Christ, Humility, and Honesty, Innocence, Loving, and Dependence. Jesus will mandate us spiritually to be childlike and not childish.
Why are children becoming victims of sexual abuse at home? Abuses at home and in the family happen when vices are allowed at home. Illegal drugs, excessive alcoholism, gambling, and pornography can turn a father or a mother predator of their own children. Be childlike by preventing vices in the family.
On the Feast of Santo Niño on Jan. 15, the youth and children joined me to the different Basic EcclesialCommunities for the holy mass. Children were prayed over and blessed in Kilong, Nangonogan, and Tanulong.
I was driving to Nangonogan, Sagada for the holy mass when three eight-year-old kids signaled me to stop. I stopped and they stretched their hands for “mano”. The third kid, upon putting my hand on his forehead, said it loud to me, “Padi, God bless you.” I was loaded with joy because it’s my first time to experience a little boy telling me, “God bless you.”
Our Sunday team prepared lunch with the carpenters at Madongo Chapel construction. It was a great day with the children and the youth. Let us be childlike always.
Reach me at [email protected]