Today here in the Philippines we celebrate the Feast of the Sto. Nino (The Child Jesus) this is a special event celebrated by the church here in the Philippines duly granted by the Vatican. There’s festive mode in almost all of the churches here especially those whose Parish church is named after it.
However, the Philippines being a third world country is also poor and there’s a whole lot of suffering and hungry people specially the children. Just this morning around the neighborhood there were two very poor children one was around seven years old and the other was around ten. I assumed that they were brothers they were both scavenging they were carrying two half-empty sacks full of plastics, bottles, steels and other things that they could salvage to sell then buy for their food. At a distance I saw that the two were being harassed and being insulted by children residing in our community. Then suddenly the two poor children were being manhandled already. I intervened and let go of the two poor children.
I also know of a family with five children the father has a stable job the mother has none. The children are so thin because they are neglected. The father drinks with friends often and the mother doesn’t know how to budget their money. And she also has her own set of wayward friends. So who suffers? It’s their children.
These are but two sad stories of suffering children—there’s a lot more out there I’m sure and who is to blame for this? It’s their irresponsible parents! So where’s the influence of the Sto. Nino? Here lies the problem of our superficial faith—faith that is not imbibed and lived. We celebrate this special feast festively but we don’t properly take care of the poor and hungry children.
In the gospel the Blessed Mother and Saint Joseph are both exemplar of righteous and responsible parents. Upon taking notice that Jesus was not with them on their way home—they went back and never stopped searching for Jesus until they found Him in the temple in the company of teachers—He was listening to them. The child Jesus was also well taught of proper values by the Blessed Mother and Saint Joseph for the reason that He was obedient to them.
It’s not only the children of the poor who are neglected; even the rich children are neglected also. Some rich parents have this wrong notion that money can substitute for their love and time. They pamper their children with money and other material things. So what happens is that these rich but sadly neglected children turn to other vicious things upon entering puberty and adulthood.
On this feast of the Sto. Nino—I pray that both poor and rich parents will have that enlightenment to know how to properly care of their long suffering children.
Are you a responsible and Godly parent?