Give kids more affirming words, fewer gadgets – priest

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MAKATI City, Jan. 17, 2014 – Apparently what kids really need – more than an iPad – are words of affirmation, a priest said.

“Let’s learn from what God the Father did to Jesus. He affirmed His son and many of your children simply need affirmation. Let’s not resort to [giving] iPads or gadgets,” said Renato de Guzman, SDB during a homily on the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord that marked the end of the Christmas season last week.

An example for parents

According to Fr. De Guzman, the new parish priest of St. John Bosco Parish, Makati City, the Gospel reading about John’s baptism of Jesus and God the Father’s affirmation of His Son provides modern parents a timeless example to follow.

“It must have been a very affirming situation for Jesus to hear His Father say, ‘This is my beloved Son,’”

Explicitly acknowledging and verbally approving of one’s own children has its unique power, Fr. de Guzman said.

“Kids really wait for affirming words from their parents as the Father did to Jesus,” he added.

‘Prequel to death’

According to Fr. de Guzman, God the Father’s delight over Jesus’ acceptance of His mission to suffer and die on the Cross for the salvation of the world was so great that He “bellowed for all to hear down the centuries, ‘This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.’”

The baptism of Jesus in the muddy waters of the Jordan River, he also explained, is a kind of “a prequel, an anticipation of His death on the Cross.”

“Jesus was immersed in the Jordan River…that points to a kind of death. He emerged from the water refreshed and He hears a voice saying, ‘This is my beloved Son,’” Fr. de Guzman said.

Stressing the importance of the passage on the baptism of Jesus, he said, all four Gospel writers, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, all mention the event, hence its historicity.

“You’ll be able to see if [an event] is authentic and historical if all four Gospel writers will report it,” he added. [Nirva’ana Ella Delacruz]

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