December 21, 2015 Aguinaldo Mass,
Our Mother of Perpetual Help Church
By Dr. Enrique G. Oracion

The Gospels are replete with Jesus’ special kindness to children.   Parents brought their children for Jesus to bless (as children now are encouraged by parents to get blessing from the priest every after mass). In fact, many religious pictures today show Jesus talking to children, embracing them, blessing them. Children were among the Lord’s enthusiastic and faithful friends. 
But what was it in children that Jesus found good and promising?  Why did he want to bless them and fill them with hope?  And how can we, as adults, deal with children to be what Jesus wants them to become. Children have to grow but what and how they would become need the help and guidance of adults, particularly from parents and their significant others. Therefore, we should know and contemplate what Jesus wishes children to become particularly at this generation of open access to information, materialism, and secularism.
Jesus saw in children and the young people an immense capacity and desire to grow, to expand, to mature.  Children have dreams; and must be something positive. They want to go somewhere, do something, be somebody.  They have a lot of motivation, therefore, blessed is every child because of these conditions to grow.
Among other things, Jesus wants to bless this innate capacity in children to grow and develop. He is there to inspire them, empower them and accompany them. And we, adults, are the instruments of Jesus to make these happen.
Children become what they are not by chance. There are reasons why they become delinquent. These may include for pleasure, as a way of rebellion, parental neglect among others. Favorably, they become professionals who serve humanity above self-interest. For the latter, we should be positive models to children.
Remember that Jesus was once a child. Aguinaldo mass is a remembrance of the first coming of the Son of God as a human being, as a helpless child in the embrace of Mary and guardianship of Joseph. They cared for the child Jesus as we parents joyfully welcome also our first born and raised them, lovingly and tenderly.
Christmas celebrates the holy childhood of Jesus, however briefly it was mentioned in the Scriptures. And every year as we celebrate Christmas, this reminds also the child in us, how we were cared for by our own parents as we similarly contemplate the way we raise our own children.
The Christmas season in the Philippines, considered to be the longest in the world, culminates in the feast of Sto. Nino. It is a feast going from commemoration of the Baby Jesus to the Child Jesus. So many people are avid devotees of the Holy Child born of Mary in Bethlehem and the Holy Child who slowly grew to maturity in Nazareth.
But how many of us actually realize that the holy childhood experience of Jesus, was a mere brief stage in his life?  Born in Bethlehem, kept in Egypt, raised in Nazareth, Jesus was not meant to be a child forever.  Soon we see him growing up and fulfilling his destiny for the salvation of the world.
Our devotion makes us appreciate the humility and seriousness of God in assuming our human nature to save us.  It is not meant to promote stagnation and mediocrity.  In fact, it is an impulse to grow in all areas of life. Again, for these reasons, we adults should be positive models to children.
And what Jesus tells us what and how we should be now, are what He inspires children to become. We know then what we should be modeling to children.
Christmas, the feast of Bethlehem’s Child, tells us today:  “Grow up.  Make the Kingdom of God present in your life and move.” Do not waste your time in idleness and laziness.  Grow up.  Do not wallow in self-pity and misery.  Grow up.  Do not just wait for others to help you.  Grow up.  The real child of God grows up to be a man or woman for others—for humanity.
Christmas focuses our attention on childhood, its joys and perils, its worthiness and exceptional qualities, its blessings and threats. Through Christmas, Jesus invites each one to appreciate each and every child, to defend and protect every child, and to nurture and inspire each of them, and each of us to grow and develop into mature human beings who care for others.
So as models, we should grow up and act according to what we tell children how Jesus wants them to be. Blessed is every child for they have model parents like you.