Feast of Sto Niño – B – January 17, 2021

 “BEING BLESSINGS TO CHILDREN”

The Power of Blessings

The blessing is a powerful concept. Really it’s not just a concept, it’s truth. Abraham was blessed by God so that he could be a blessing to others. There’s a very strong idea of generational blessing woven throughout scripture.

√ Abraham’s life was changed by a blessing.

√ Jacob went to great lengths to steal a blessing.

√ Jesus blessed children because “such is the kingdom of God”.

√ And He even said those that offend (curse) the children should have something tied around their neck and thrown into the sea. (Matthew 18:6)

Types of Blessings

Worship Blessing: Man Blessing God: worship; exclamation of gratitude and admiration; praising thankfulness.

Formal Blessing: to consecrate or sanctify by a religious rite; make or pronounce holy. Marriage Ceremony.

Personal Blessing: to request of God the bestowal of divine favor on: Bless your beautiful family.

Specific Blessing: to bestow good of any kind upon: May your home be blessed with peace.

Protection Blessing: to protect or guard from evil (usually used interjectionally): Bless you! Bless your innocent little heart!

Catholic Blessing: to make the sign of the cross over or upon: The Pope blessed the multitude.

Being Blessing – the kind that embraces all the above blessings and more. It is rooted in one’s being a child of God.

Catholic –in the spirit of Sacrifice & the Cross

Protection –divine and human shield from evil

Specific –addresses particular concrete needs

Personal –the very gift of love and friendship

√ Formal –service sanctifies the person

Being Blessing weaves your life and faith story into the lives and faith of those you bless with your being.

Tatlong Kwentong Bata

How do we weave our Faith-life stories into theirs?

How do we become “Being Blessings” to them and the many others like them?

Kwento ni Kelsey Shelton Smith-Briggs. Kelsey died on October 11, 2005 at the home of her mother, Raye Dawn Smith, and her stepfather, Michael Lee Porter in Meeker, OK.

Evidence indicates that Kelsey died from a blunt force trauma to the abdomen. In the final months of her life she had suffered a broken collarbone, broken legs, and multiple bruises and abrasions on her face and body.  In January 2005, the Oklahoma Department of Human Services confirmed abuse against Kelsey’s mother after she was taken to a local emergency room with a broken collar bone, multiple bruises and abrasions to Kelsey’s lower back, buttocks, and thighs.

In April, both of Kelsey’s legs were broken and it was determined these were spiral fractures in different stages of healing and were caused by child abuse. After this incident, Kelsey was taken into State’s custody. Her case was watched closely by State authorities and the courts. At the time of Kelsey’s death, her biological father, Lance Briggs, was stationed at Fort Benning, Georgia awaiting separation papers upon his return from deployment in Iraq.

♥ Challenge:

A way to being blessings to children is to be active protectors of children against abuse of any form. Things you can do, among others: üReport child abuse incidents to authorities.

√ Educate Children in a discreet yet effective way on how they can avoid situations, persons and incidents where from they will most likely get hurt, emotionally or physically. √ Teach them to seek help. √ Volunteer or donate to Children Protection Agencies in your area. Pls. see separate sheet for directory assistance. Keep it in your person.

Kwento nina Angela at Jeremy.

An excerpt from Kara David’s “Buto’t Balat”, a documentary on severe malnutrition in the Philippines, aired in i-Witness.

Angela Lepato was a case of a girl who was bed ridden because of severe malnutrition and when asked of the reason why she became that way, her mother said they only eat once or twice a day. The family could not provide enough food for themselves, which resulted to the girl and her other two siblings’ death.

Jeremy Hansol’s story was also featured. The Hansols was a family of nine which would eat three times a day but with improper food intake. The weight of Jeremy, the oldest child, 14, would only pass for the weight of a two-year-old. And when data were shown, the Philippines ranked 2nd in cases of severe malnourishment.

Both Angela and Jeremy died from severe malnutrition in 2005. Many are still dying to date especially these pandemic days.

July 2020. In the Philippines, a third of children are stunted (impaired growth and development experienced due to malnourishment). The Philippines ranks fifth among countries in the East Asia and Pacific Region with the highest stunting prevalence and one of 10 countries with the highest number of stunted children in the world.

♥ Challenge: Let us be conscientious of the food resources we have. Teach children and adults to conserve. Huwag maging takaw-mata. Don’t throw away uneaten food.

“My thoughts today go to all children who are abused and mistreated: those killed before they are born; those deprived of the generous love of their parents who are buried under the selfishness of a culture that does not love life; those children displaced by war and persecution, abused and exploited under our eyes and the silence that makes us accomplices.” – Pope Francis, Christmas blessing Urbi et Orbi Dec 25, 2014