The celebrant of this year’s Mass of the Divine Child Jesus at St. Patrick’s Cathedral spoke about “increasing faith, serving and loving God,” and he noted that the Divine Child Jesus came to the world “to share in our humanity.”
The Mass, which was offered Oct. 30, is a traditional Colombian faith and cultural celebration.
“The Lord came with humility, an infant child in the arms of Mary and Joseph,” Auxiliary Bishop Manuel Aurelio Cruz of the Archdiocese of Newark said during his homily. “I feel content and joyful to be here talking to all of you about imitating the virtues of this Child: the virtue of trust, the virtue of humility, and the great virtue of joy.”
Bishop Cruz noted that his words were meant for everyone in the pews, and especially for the children, noting that their young faces remind him of the reason for the gathering: honoring the Divine Child Jesus.
“We all have to learn, my dear brothers and sisters, that great virtue of humility,” said the bishop, adding that St. Augustine addressed the importance of humility in the journey to salvation.
“A humble person is a person who has no fear in living in the truth, has no fear because he knows how to trust, to trust in the unconditional love of Jesus,” the bishop said. “The one who has come to rescue us, to free us from sin and from death, and who has promised each one of us a life in heaven…Everything returns to love.
“In love there is trust; in love there is no fear; in love we can say ‘yes’ like Mary said. And ‘yes’ like St. Joseph: I do not understand but I accept it. I surrender to the will of God.”
In speaking of “the gift of faith’ and of the night Christ was born, Bishop Cruz said, “It was all about the great mysteries of humility, of trust and of love…Love must reign, as Jesus said, “I will reign.’” Bishop Cruz thanked the parents in the pews for raising their children in the faith, with the sacraments.
Wanda Vasquez, director of archdiocesan Hispanic Ministry, gave opening and closing remarks, expressions of gratitude and noting the significance of the Divine Child celebration; and Bishop Cruz joined Ms. Vasquez in the closing words. Deacon Carlos Campoverde of Assumption parish in Peekskill assisted at the Mass.
The Divino Niño, also known as Divino Niño de Bogotá or Divine Child Jesus, is a religious wooden statue of the child Jesus originating from Bogota, Colombia. A cross originally in the back was removed upon purchase in 1935 at a Bogota store by an Italian Salesian priest, Father Giovanni Rizzo, assigned to Colombia.
The 17-centimeter-high statue with arms outstretched and wearing a traditional pink robe or tunic has an inscription "Yo reinaré" ("I will reign") at its base, an inscription requested by Father Rizzo. It is one of the most popular religious images in Colombia, especially among Catholics, and reportedly has miraculous powers of healing.