Thoughts To Live By…

Archive for the ‘Human Rights’ Category

Feast of the Sto. Nino
Mk: 10:13-16

Today is the Feast of the Holy Infant Jesus popularly known in the Philippines as the Feast of Sto. Nino. As we celebrate this Feast we commemorate the mystery of the Incarnation when God humbled Himself, stripped Himself of divine glory and splendor, and became human being in all things except sin. Like any other human being he was conceived and born of the Blessed Virgin Mary. As a human child who was under the guidance, protection and care of Joseph and Mary he “grew in body, age, wisdom, grace and holiness before the eyes of God and man” (Lk 2:52).

As we celebrate the Feast of the Sto. Nino we are called and challenged:

  • To be humble like a little child. As Jesus warns: “Everyone who exalts himself shall be humbled and he who humbles himself shall be exalted” (Lk 14:11). “Verily I say unto you, except you be converted, and become as little children, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven” (Mt 18:3). The greater you are, the more humble you should behave, then you will find favor with the Lord” (Sir 3:18). “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble” (James 4:6; Proverbs 3:34).
  • To recognize, respect and protect the dignity and human rights inherent in every child, children and youth of today especially those who are threatened or victimized by hunger and malnutrition, sexual abuse, war, domestic violence, forced labor and various forms of manipulations and exploitations. Jesus, fearing that everybody will abuse them because “the basest men delight to trample upon the humble” (Mt 18:6), warns: “See that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that their angels in heaven always look upon the face of God” (Mt 10:10-11). “Whosoever shall receive one of such little children in my name receives me, and whosoever receives me, receives not me, but him that sent me” (Mk 26-37; Mt 18:5).
  • To progress in wisdom and to grow daily in our faith and works of love. Every disciple is called to moral and spiritual maturity and perfection. Every follower is called to the fullness of Christian life and perfection of charity. Like Jesus may we advance not only in body and age but most importantly, in wisdom, grace and holiness.

To make our celebration more meaningful and fruitful, let us strive to be humble; cleanse ourselves of pride, arrogance and vanity; welcome, love and serve Jesus in the least, last and lowest in our society; and, lastly, imitate the children in their nothingness, lowliness and dependence before God.

Useful Articles:

This photograph showing a starving Sudanese child being stalked by a vulture won Kevin Carter the 1994 Pulitzer Prize for feature photography.

Facts About Children and Poverty

Health Care and Nutrition

  • Measles, malaria and diarrhea are three of the biggest killers of children – yet all are preventable or treatable
  • More than 30 million children in the world are not immunized against treatable or preventable diseases
  • 95 percent of all the people who get polio are under the age of 5
  • HIV/AIDS has created more than 14 million orphans – 92 percent of them live in Africa
  • Six million children under five die every year as a result of hunger

Education

  • 134 million children between the ages of 7 to 18 have never been to school.
  • Girls are more likely to go without schooling than boys – in the Middle East and North Africa, girls are three times more likely than boys to be denied education
  • For every year of education, wages increase by a worldwide average of 10 percent
  • Educated mothers tend to send their children to school, helping to break the cycle of poverty

Exploitation

  • In the last decade, more than 2 million children have died as a direct result of armed conflict
  • More than 300,000 child soldiers are exploited in armed conflicts in over 30 countries around the world
  • 2 million children are believed to be exploited through the commercial sex trade
  • Approximately 246 million children work
  • 171 million children work in hazardous conditions

Pause and Reflect:

And what are we to say of increasing violence against women and against children of both sexes? Today this is one of the most widespread violations of human rights, and tragically it has even become a terror tactic: women taken hostage, children barbarously slaughtered. To this must be added the violence of forced prostitution and child pornography, and the exploitation of children in the workplace in conditions of veritable slavery. Practical steps are needed to try to stop the spread of these forms of violence. In particular, appropriate legal measures are needed at both the national and international level. If, as I have often stated in previous Messages, the dignity of every person is to be recognized and respected, the difficult task of education and cultural promotion must be faced. One element, in fact, absolutely must not be lacking in the ethical and cultural patrimony of the human family as a whole and of each individual person: awareness that human beings are all equal in dignity, deserve the same respect, and have the same rights and duties.

– John Paul II, World Day of Peace, January 1, 1998, 6

Sources:

Facts: http://www.care.org
Photograph: http://www.flatrock.org.nz
Quotation: Pope John Paul II, World Day of Peace, 1998


August 2017
M T W T F S S
« Mar    
 123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
28293031  

Categories

Blog Stats

  • 296,259 hits