“Ipinapakilala ni Hesus ang kanyang sarili bilang Niñong kaakit-akit, madaling lapitan, at nagdudulot ng tuwa.”
This was the message of Manila Archbishop Jose F. Cardinal Advincula as he presided over the Fiesta Mass, also known as the ‘Pistang Dakila’ of Sto. Niño de Pandacan Parish at 9 in the morning.
In his homily, Cardinal Advincula affirmed that Niño not only from the likeness of a child provides a sense of freedom but also as someone who illuminates the path to joy.
“Handa siyang ipagkaloob sa atin ang purong pagmamahal at ganap na kaligayahan. Ito ang propesiya ni Isaias sa ating unang pabasa: dulot niya ay malaking liwanag sa mga balot ng kadiliman, ganap na kalayaan at kapayapaan mula sa mga manlulupig at kaaway, at masiglang pagdiriwang na higit pa sa panahon ng tagumpay at anihan,” he said.
The Cardinal emphasized that the challenge for the faithful is to allow their faith to grow by listening wholeheartedly to the Niño’s call without further prejudices to one another.
“Huwag tayong manatiling mga bata sa pananampalataya. Sabayan natin ang paglaki at pagtanda ng Niño Hesus sa pamamagitan ng pakikipag-niig at pakikinig sa kanya,” he added.
Cardinal Advincula stated that, as God’s children, it is uniquely important to look after our communities, from the least, lost and the last in society.
“Hinahamon din tayo ng Niño Hesus na hanapin at itaguyod ang iba pang maliliit at mahihina sa ating lipunan, sa ating parokya at kapit-bahayan: ang mga dukha at mga bilanggo, ang mga may sakit at may kapansanan, ang mga gutom, uhaw, at walang matuluyan. Ang Sto. Niño ay matatagpuan at mapaglilingkuran sa kanila,” the Cardinal said.
The Feast of Sto. Niño de Pandacan is celebrated every 3rd Sunday of January. It was the home of the miraculous black image of the Niño which was founded by the children in the early 1600s. A fire struck the Church last July 2020 including the 400-year-old image which was lost. However, the devotees’ faith prevails as the entire Pandacan continues to rebuild their Church. (By Hazel Boquiren | Photo by Maricar Santos/RCAM-AOC | Photo Gallery – Buling Buling | Last day Novena Mass | Fiesta Mass)