Matthew 2:1-12 Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord January 8, 2023 The Magi were overjoyed at seeing the star, and on entering the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother. They prostrated themselves and did him homage. Then they opened their treasures and offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
January 7, 2023
Matthew 4:12-23 3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time January 22, 2023 Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.” At once they left their nets and followed him.
January 21, 2023

Matthew 18:1-5, 10 Feast of the Sto. Niño January 15, 2023 Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

Feast of the Sto. Niño
Isaiah 9:1-6
Ephesians 1:3-6, 15-18
Matthew 18:1-5, 10, 12-14

A. Text/Context
• The first question that we would ask about the gospel is who are the little ones?
• Literally, we mean the children, because obviously they are really small and powerless, and very vulnerable
• And what makes the children so pleasing before the eyes of God?
• It is their innocence. Children are spared of the consciousness of sin by virtue of their innocence
• When the disciples asked Jesus who is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven Jesus took a little child and placed it in their midst and said
• Unless you turn and become like children you will not enter the kingdom of Heaven
• And these little ones are actually the most vulnerable and the most fragile members of the society

B. Human Situation
• In the actual life of society who really are the vulnerable ones?
• Well, they are many and of course they include the poor precisely because of poverty
• You hear people resort to all kinds of ghastly occupations. They will do everything for the sake of survival
• There ae also people so easily swayed by the machinations of politics in exchange for money so they vote for them
• Is it only the poor and the children who are vulnerable? There are still so many others
• There are also people who are not really poor but they are vulnerable; the old, the sick, the imprisoned and even the wicked criminals and hoodlums who seem unable to free themselves from the shackles of desperation and despondency are also vulnerable because they have lost the hope for a better and decent life
• And Jesus exhorted his disciples that unless you become like children, like these little ones you will not enter the kingdom of heaven
• Bearing in mind to take care of the little ones and to become like children, with a childlike virtue at the same time
• Jesus gives the message that as disciples we must have the full and total trust in God, a child-like virtue
• Ang mga bata man gud, they are given the grace to have total trust in almost everyone
• Kon unsa ang imong isaad sa bata, mangadto mo ug Jollibee maghulat gyud siya kanus-a mo mangadto. Their faith is so simple and pure. Ingon niana ang gipangayo sa Ginoo sa ato. Kon unsa ang iyang saad, iya kanang tumanon, unya maghulat ta and we believe firmly that the Lord will fulfill his promise
• Bisan maldito, maldita kaayo imong anak, imong apo, wala gihapon silay sala kay wala man silay notions of right or wrong, they are free from guilt because of their innocence
• Mao nga importante kaayo nga ato silang mahatagan ug panimalay nga hapsay, diin ang mga ginikanan, magmatuto kanila nga may paghigugma
• Seminarista pa mi, naa mi apostolate sa mga street children, mga orphans, mga runaways and many of them didto na sila midako sa kalsada
• Ug abi ninyo, ang uban dili gani makasabot nganong ang ubang bata naa man siyay nanay o tatay kay wala siya kaila kon unsa ang nanay ug tatay, because they were just left in the streets without anybody. Their lives are horribly dysfunctional
• Sa Hospicio de San Jose sa Manila, the newborns are left in the turn (torno) and the sisters will take care of them. Pagbisita namo didto, magdinaganay ang mga bata ang tanan gusto magpakarga, magpakugos, molingkod sa imong paa, magunit-gunit sa imong tiil. Can you imagine? They thirst for the warmth of embrace which they have never experienced
• This is the natural impulse of children to have somebody just to cuddle them, hold them kay wala sila katilaw nga karga-kargahon sa mga ginikanan. They are so psychologically broken
• Bisan gani ang mga anak sa baka nga nati magsunod sunod man gani sa inahan; dili gyud mobulag unsa pa kaha ang anak sa tawo?
• The children are the most abused sectors of our society all over the world, because they are powerless, they cannot speak for themselves, they only rely on others, they rely on us

C. Challenge
• So maghuna-huna ta unsa may atong mahimo? Mao nga makapamalandong gyud ko nga kagustuhan gyud sa Ginoo nga magsaulog kita sa fiesta sa Sto. Niño aron mahinumduman nato ang mga kabataan labi na kadtong walay kapaingnan aron kita makatabang kanila
• Sa una, bata-bata pa ko nga seminarista gusto nako aksyon dayon unsay maayong buhaton, but in my senior years na, I realized that the problems cannot be solved. We cannot solve the problems of the world but we can mitigate the effect of the problem
• Pagbisita nako sa usa ka orphanage gigunitan nako ang kamot sa bata; my God, payat kaayo; virtually skin and bones. Pag-uli nako sa balay gusto na nako mag contact sa mga social workers nga akong kaila only to realize later mahurot pud ang akong oras, wala na hinuon koy panahon sa personal ministry nako sa JTM Crusade Prayer Group
• Gusto nako mobalik pero kapoy man ang akong lawas, sakit akong tiil etc. Now, I realized that prayers can do more than actions, now that I am older than before
• Because if we pray, God will mobilize people who have the intent to work for the children; your prayer may result to more students seeking to professionalize themselves through social work
• God may touch the hearts of the rich people to open charities for children, foster homes, orphanages, and provide them the education they need
• Because we realize that we are so small, but mind you, in our being small, God will make things bigger because of our prayers
• God will not refuse our prayers especially if we are so disposed before God with the virtue of humility whatever we ask of him
• In our senior years, prayers can do more for our children than action. Of course, faith without action is not good according to St. James in the scriptures; mao nga diha na mosulod ang mga sectors sa atong katilingban
• Naay mga madre ug mga pari nga magdumala sa mga boys town or girls town
• Naay mga charities for lost children, naay mga apostolate for soup kitchens, for feeding programs, and even for prostituted women, etc.
• We do not organize them, but God who listened to the prayers of his little ones nga mapaubsanon kaayo, mohimo ug dako alang sa mga kabataan
• So today we are reminded in this Feast of the Sto Niño to pray for all the vulnerables in our society, not only the children but also those who have lost their hope to save their own souls
• There are so many people who become so despondent and disillusioned, and hopeless because they are already imprisoned in their own situations
• Our prayers will free the children in distress as well as save the souls who lost the glimmer of hope
• In JTM, we do not only pray, we consecrate the children and we beg the Lord ardently from the deepest recess of our hearts for the salvation of 2 billion lost souls

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Matthew 18 verse 1-5, 10

Matthew 18 verse 1-5, 10

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