It is still Christmas this Sunday here in the Philippines as we celebrate today the Feast of the Child Jesus known as Señor Sto. Niño. The feast reminds us of the most central teaching of Jesus Christ which is to be like a child for He said that “unless you become like children, you shall never inherit the kingdom of heaven.”
One distinct quality of being a child like Jesus Christ is to be always filled with love for everyone. In this age of modern technologies, how sad that we have become more technical than personal that slowly, real love has become so rare among us. Too often love is not only abused and misused but also misunderstood as mere feelings alone. No! Love is always a decision, a choice we make after the interplay of our mind and heart that leads to growth and maturity. And the more we stand on that decision and choice to love, the more it is deepened and perfected in God. So often, love is symbolized by the heart but its truest meaning can only be found in the great sign of the Cross of Jesus where we can find the perfect expression of Christian “childlikeness” and Christian maturity when we choose whatever is more painful and more difficult because we have found someone to love more than our self.
This is the child-like love that Dianne Reeves tells us in her 1987 crossover hit “Better Days” also known as the “Grandma Song” where she spoke of her grandmother not only teaching her but making her experience love that leads to better days. We find in the song her grandmother somehow portraying to us what we have said as Christian “childlikeness” and Christian maturity so that in the end, she peacefully joined God because she had always been faithful and loving as a child of the Father like Christ. That is also the challenge to us of this Feast of the Sto. Niño: to remain children of God even as adults like Jesus Christ. Or Dianne’s grandmother. If only we can be child-like like Jesus or Dianne’s Grandma, we can be assured of better days too not only here but in eternity.
Photo by the author, Dominican Hill, Baguio City, 18 January 2019.