(This is the full transcription of the homily of Papal Nuncio, Archbishop Gabriele Giordano Caccia during the Feast Day of Sñr. Sto. Niño on January 21, 2018 at the 5:30 p.m. mass.)
Maayong gabii! Pit Senyor! Full with joy to be with you tonight and so grateful, and I thank that your kind Archbishop who have […] to be with you tonight and also that for my brother bishops who are here tonight and you know all of them especially Sñr. Antonio. And grateful also to the […] and the director of the […] to all the priests, to all the religious women, and to all.
We have the greatest gift today. And I see that all the city is dancing, is smiling, is with joy. But if I only ask, why? Why are you dancing? Why are you happy? What happened? And then what will be your answer?
Well, the answer in the first reading if you have listened this afternoon, a child has been given to us.
The child has been given to us. The special child is the son of God. And I was wondering why did God decide to manifest Himself as a child. After all, God has done everything: the earth, the sea, the water, the mountains, the universe, the stars, the galaxies. He is the most powerful. If we have imagined Go, we would say, “Oh, He is strong!” But He appeared as a child. Imagine that He comes as a big man and maybe with some weapons also, everyone [will] get scared.
But if there is a child, everyone is happy, is making feast because a child doesn’t scare anyone. The child gives joy. And God decided to present Himself as a child not to scare us, but to make us happy. To give happiness, inspiration, serenity, harmony in our lives. You know, […] people think that God is just there to punish. “Ah, you get wrong, I will punish you!” And there are a lot of people with fear of God, “Wrong, be careful. Don’t do that.” And that they make sacrifice, and they do a lot of things to keep up [..]. But it is not our god. Our God doesn’t want us to be scared, to be feared. He wants to be loved. When in a family, somebody is very rude and everyone […]
God wants to be united with us through love. And so, He presented Himself as a little child—somebody who doesn’t scare anyone. On the contrary, somebody who needs each one of us. If you don’t give […] And the Lord, the God of Gods, the creator of everything, wanted to be a little child. And Mary […] and Joseph was caring for Him. And pastors, shepherds want to bring Him gifts. And the kings of the Magi went offering.
And we also like to offer a lot to Him because He has given us His life for us. And so, when people ask you why are you so smiling? The Filipinos are very well known for its people [who are] smiling. And why? Because you know that God loves you, that God has asked to love Him in return. Like in the family. Not to have fear of Him but to love Him. To serve Him gladly. To give Him what is necessary. This is our faith and this faith is a great gift that you have offered to spread all over.
I have been traveling all over the world. I’ve been to Africa, Europe, Middle East. How many people, they don’t the joy of life because they don’t know that God is a loving God, someone that cares for them. So anytime you look at the Little Child, you remember that He is the sign of the love of God. We are happy because a child has been given to us.
But in the gospel, on the other hand, Jesus asked to His disciples to be like children. “Who doesn’t become like a child cannot enter the Kingdom of God.” What does He mean? You know, when a child sees a problem, the dark is coming, or when the situation is difficult, he just wants to go to the arms of his father or his mother, to be close with them. And to be that child of God means to have trust in Him and say to Him, “I don’t know what will happen in life. There are many dangers. There are many evil. There are many temptations, but I come to You like a child. If I am with you, I feel safe because you are there. To be child means to trust, like a little child in his parents, in the love of God, in the protection of God. When He is with us we can be safe. The Lord wants to be with us as a child in the Eucharist. What is the Eucharist? It’s the presence of the most powerful God in the very humble, simple way. He wants to be with us, to enter in us. Like Jesus entering womb of Mary, He wants to be in our lives, not around us, in us. And when He is in us, we feel the consolation and the strength of our faith, of the presence of God. “We will call Him Emmanuel God with us. God within us.”
So, especially in this year dedicated to the consecrated lives, the bishops, the priests. Why are they so important? Because they permit God to come in the Eucharist, to be with us, to be in us. And they are all in the service of the Lord. The Lord is […] Let us pray especially for bishops, for priests, for consecrated and […] men and women. Let us Jesus come in our lives through the sacrament of the Eucharist. It’s good that you had the Eucharistic Congress two years ago. Where to celebrate in a better place than where the Little Child is respected, is celebrated. So let us continue our lives, our journey together with Jesus, with complete trust that He is our strength. He is with us. He will never abandon us even when we go astray, He waits for us to come back or He reaches [for] us where we were with the cross and He brings us back. With this profound joy, profound happiness, let us continue our celebration and prepare ourselves to receive the Lord in us and be happy for God is with us.
Transcribed by: Eunice Jose | BMSN Media Center Student Volunteer – USC