Archbishop Jose Palma of Cebu called on the people back to God and out of fear during the annual observance of the “feast” of the Child Jesus, or Santo Niño, in Cebu on Sunday, January 17.
In his homily, the prelate said that through faith, people will not live in fear.
“The Niño tells us to have faith rather than fear. Put your trust in this little child, small but powerful,” he said.
The celebration, which usually attracts millions of people, was held at the Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño with very limited attendance due to health restrictions.
The basilica has earlier suspended all public Masses to avoid the possible transmission of COVID-19.
Despite the pandemic and the cancellation of several activities, Archbishop Palma said the day was still a “moment of thanksgiving”.
“We are assured of God’s continuing presence and support in our journey of faith,” he said as he challenged the faithful to “concretize” their devotion by reaching out to those in the peripheries.
Pointing to the centuries-old image of the Holy Child, he said the icon is a reminder to the other “littles in the society.”
To drive his point, the archbishop said that even the Santo Niño needed the care of Mary and Joseph.
“So we have to care for each other, especially for the poor, the sick, the little ones, the marginalized,” said the prelate.