Yesterday, January 13, we celebrated the 4th day of novena masses of the Fiesta Señor 2019 and at the early hour of 8:30AM, hundreds of people gathered at the Basilica Minore del Santo Niño (BMSN) to attend and hear the Children’s Mass.
The mass was dedicated especially for children so the mass goers during the said schedule naturally consisted of devoted guardians and energetic kids from all walks of life. Ates and kuyas watched over the younger kids. Toddlers and babies were dressed in adorable costumes imitating Sto. Niño’s garments. Little children shyly played with newfound friends. Guardians gently cradled their babies as they listened to the heart-warming homily. Not to mention, the sponsors of this morning mass were from the Colegio del Santo Niño (CSN), the elementary school located beside the BMSN which is run by Augustinian friars as well.
The Eucharistic celebration centered on the celebration of the baptism of the Lord to help remind the devotees of two important things in the public ministry of Jesus: 1) the humility of Christ and 2) the new relationship forged with the Creator allowing us to be called God’s children.
The Children’s Mass was presided by Fr. Vicente Amplayo, OSA, director of CSN. In relation to Jesus’ baptism, Fr. Amplayo’s homily touched on our mission as God’s children. He talked about our roles as children of God, that we must aid others in knowing and embracing that they are His children as well. He also shared that we must lay down pure and sturdy foundations of love and humility for future generations. This is something we are all responsible for, guardians, schools, and institutions alike, the homily went on to say.
With this year’s theme “Sto. Niño: Guide of God’s Children to Humility and Service”, Fr. Amplayo explained that parents, teachers, guardians, and adults all have the responsibility of laying down the foundations of love for children. He also added that humility must be learned and embraced because love is lacking without this humble quality.
“Ang pagpadayag kay apan kita makasinati sa kaluwasan na gitanyag sa Ginoo. (Baptism allows us to experience the Lord’s salvation),” as stressed by Fr. Amplayo in his homily.
As mentioned, the mass sponsors were the pupils from CSN which shows the youth fulfilling an act of service to the Lord. This also sends the message that the church will always welcome and guide the youth in fulfilling any act of service such as being part of the choir or mass reader. Also, even by just hearing the mass, we had already shown our humility such that we know our lapses and limitations, that we have the child-like quality of being dependent to our Father as we go back to His arms to implore his aid in times of despair.
Each and every moment of that early morning hour from the opening rites to the homily to the singing to the offertory and to the concluding rites, the atmosphere remained holy and vibrant.
And when the mass ended, the seamless sea of God’s children parted, and they went out into the world with learning, love, purpose, and humility—destined by God the Almighty Father to go forth for goodness.| Lara Eviota and Maria Pacilan, USC Volunteers