By Mel Jasmin
In the Philippines, the Sunday following the Feast of the Lord’s Baptism has been celebrated as the Feast of the Sto. Niño. The devotion to the Sto. Niño in the country has become popular. One can easily notice an image or icon of the Sto. Niño displayed in places for business, offices, and at home. However, this devotion has also raised some questions, like theological questions. Some laugh at this popular devotion because Jesus, accordingly, has never remained a “child.” He grew, he preached, he died, and he rose from the dead. For these people, they say that Filipinos have missed an important point.
Well, we may have missed the point but we have to realize that there is a point in the “childhood” of Jesus that we should not miss.
Equally, there are points or traits in children that we should not miss. This is the heart of the Gospel. Jesus says, “Whoever does not accept the kingdom like a child will not enter it.”
Children during Mark’s time were insignificant, powerless, and dependent. This may not be the picture of children that we see today. I pity some parents nowadays because their children have become a problem to them.
The children are uncontrollable and disobedient. They are problematic, in other words.
However, children, good or bad, have qualities which are worth emulating. The good characteristic that subsists in children is dependence, that is, dependence from parents. Some children may be bad, but never would they think that they can live all by themselves. They would always cling to their parents because they know they cannot live without them.
By Mel Jasmin