By Seminarian LANCE PATRICK ENAD, firstname.lastname@example.org
January 15, 2019
Holy days, have always been, at least on paper, sacred times. In these holy times, anything that could be a distraction from the worship of God is to be avoided –hence we abstain from work (although with exceptions) on Sundays so that we can spend the day for God, with our families, and for rest.
We see in the catechisms and in the preaching of many saints, especially St. John Mary Vianney, the phrase “desecration of Sundays.” St. John Mary Vianney often preached against it. Being the pastor of the village of Ars, he lamented how people worked on Sundays and neglected to come to Mass. On Sundays too, dances were held in the town –dances which fostered immorality and other occasions of sin.
Obviously, Sundays and holy days are days for our Lord. Holy days are especially set apart for the worship of God, for doing good works, for the family. Anything that would be an obstacle to those would be an abuse of these sacred times. Any sinful act or vice on these days –parties, or street parties, dances, etc. that endanger purity, that are occasions of sin- would be a desecration of these sacred times.
It is rather lamentable to think how Cebu City on the feast day of the Sto. Niño instead of being filled with grace, becomes a cesspool of sin, vice, and immorality. While we supposedly enthrone the Christ Child, the City becomes a pit of sin –so many souls that are in the darkness of mortal sin commit still more on this day and perhaps so many souls on that day, lose the grace of God.
You, Christian Reader, redeemed by Jesus Christ, would you tolerate how God is offended on the time that should be for him? On birthdays, we always try to be nice to the celebrant. On the day of the Lord, why is it that we offend God all the more. It is like how those engaged in theNi demonic mock God at 3am and how we remember the death of Our Lord at 3pm. God is offended, what is your reaction, Christian soul?
For this reason, it is important to give some advice on how to celebrate the feast of the Santo Niño well.
(1) Attend / assist in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. It is Sunday, you are obliged to assist in the Most Holy Sacrifice. Offer this mass for the salvation of souls, for the conversion of sinners, especially for those who will have the misfortune of committing a mortal sin on the feast of the Sto. Niño. Offer this mass as a reparation for each time God is offended.
(2) Pray the Rosary. This is a powerful weapon for our times. The Rosary is a meditation on the life of Our Lord. If you pray it every day, Sinulog would be a great day to pray all the mysteries. If you don’t pray it every day, it is high time to begin. Commend your soul and the souls of your loved ones to our Lady so that you will always be kept in the grace of God.
(3) Holy hour. So many graces flow from an hour of prayer before the Blessed Sacrament. Spend an hour before Jesus. Offer it in reparation for the sins committed today and in homage to the Sto. Niño.
(4) Read the Bible. Read the Gospels. How fruitful it is for us to read the life of our Lord! While so many people do not think of God on that day –and so many even offend him-, you reading the Bible make it one person less.
(5) Preparation. Prepare yourself for the feast day of the Sto. Niño. Pray the Novena and meditate on the Childhood of Our Lord.
Sinulog, before it is a festival, before it is a time for culture, is a time for God, a sacred time- we ought not to forget that.