Pit Señor to everyone

SHOOTING STRAIGHT - Bobit S. Avila - The Freeman

Today is the Feast of the Señor Sto. Niño and there are two gospel readings today, one about the Wedding in Cana which you can read in John 2: 1-11. Without any doubt reading the gospel on the Wedding in Cana is of prime importance for us Catholics because this story gives us the impression of how important marriage is to the Holy Family to the point that the Blessed Virgin Mary asks her Son our Lord Jesus Christ for his first miracle, the changing of water into wine even if his hour had not yet come.

But for us in the Philippines, the gospel reading today is the Finding of the Boy Jesus in the Temple in honor of the Feast of the Señor Sto. Niño. You can read it in Luke 2: 41-52.

“41 Each year his parents went to Jerusalem for the feast of the Passover 42 and when he was twelve years old, they went up according to festival custom. 43 After they had completed its days, as they were returning, the boy Jesus remained behind in Jerusalem, but his parents did not know it.

44. Thinking that he was in the caravan, they journeyed for a day and looked for him among their relatives and acquaintances, 45 but not finding him, they returned to Jerusalem to look for him. 46 After three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions, 47 and all who heard him were astounded at his understanding and his answers.

48 When his parents saw him, they were astonished, and his mother said to him, “Son, why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been looking for you with great anxiety.” 49 And he said to them, “Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house? 50 But they did not understand what he said to them.

51 He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them; and his mother kept all these things in her heart. 52 And Jesus advanced in wisdom and age and favor before God and man.”


As always the procession for the Señor Sto. Niño was joined by the millions of faithful devotees and pilgrims who come from far and wide to honor the Holy Child Jesus Christ in Cebu. These are times that we Filipinos should be proud to call ourselves Catholic for the faith in God is still with us.

Call it a coincidence that exactly a year ago, we had that unexpected visit by Pope Francis in Manila, where I’m sure the Pope also found the faith in us Filipinos. We too were strengthened in our faith by his courage in flying to his original destination to visit Tacloban even with a typhoon approaching menacingly. While he was able to stay only for a few hours to the distress of many Taclobanons…but the fact that he took the risk to visit them at the height of a storm is something we shall never forget.

Before writing this piece, I was led to open my You Tube to a talk by Fr. Nicholas Gruner, the famous Fatimist who made it his life’s work to tell the whole world that the request of the Blessed Virgin Mary given to the three children in Oct.13, 1917 Fatima for the Pope to consecrate Russia into her Immaculate Heart has never been heeded. I too believe in this simply because there is no world peace today as the Blessed Virgin Mary clearly said that if Russia is consecrated into her Immaculate Heart, there will be world peace. Ask yourself… is this world we are in today in peace??

Because I opened many website links to Fr. Nicholas Gruner, it was only yesterday that I learned that April 29, 2015 Fr. Gruner died of a heart attack. We just came for a pilgrimage to Akita, Japan where the wooden statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary shed 101 tears since 1973. Akita today is just like many churches…devoid of people. Perhaps the excitement of a wooden statue shedding tears has waned. But the message of Akita remains.

In his talk about the 3rd secret of Fatima, Fr. Gruner clearly states that the message of Fatima and our Lady of Akita is very similar as it speaks of the apostasy within the Catholic Church and that our greatest folly as enunciated by St. Pope John Paul II, “The greatest problem with Catholics today is the loss of our sense of sin.” We are still sinners…but there is still time for Catholics to seek conversion through the sacrament of reconciliation.

With our celebration of the Sinulog all but over… we Cebuanos are greatly honored to play host to the 51st International Eucharistic Congress that will usher this week. Perhaps now is the perfect time to ask this question as written in Luke 18: 8, “When the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?” I ask this question because we are without any doubt entering the era called the End of Times. Let me quote to you Matt.24: 11-13, “Many false prophets will arise and deceive many; and because of the increase of evildoing, the love of many will grow cold. But the one who perseveres to the end will be saved.” Let’s show the world during the IEC that there is faith here in Cebu!


For email responses to this article, write to [email protected] or [email protected]. His columns can be accessed through www.philstar.com.

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