Jun. 21, 2023 08:38 AM
Rev. Fr. Rufino C. Sescon, Jr., Rector & Parish Priest, holds the Blessed Sacrament during the procession of Corpus Christi inside the Minor Basilica and Archdiocesan Shrine of the Black Nazarene (Photo by Social Communications Ministry (SOCCOMM), Quiapo Church)
Quiapo, Manila—On June 11, 2023, at 3:00 p.m., Rev. Fr. Rufino C. Sescon Jr., Rector & Parish Priest officiated the mass celebrating the solemnity of Corpus Christi together with Rev. Fr. Jonathan Noel Mojica and Rev. Fr. Robert Arellano, LRMS, Parochial Vicars the of the Minor Basilica and Archdiocesan Shrine of the Black Nazarene. This liturgical celebration is translated from Latin as the ‘Body of Christ.’ This celebration highlights the mystery of transubstantiation of both bread and wine to the Body and Blood of Christ during the Liturgy of the Eucharist in every mass. Hence, this is also known as the ‘Solemnity of Body and Blood of Christ.’
Rev. Fr. Rufino C. Sescon Jr., Rector & Parish Priest conveys the message of the presence of Christ to the people, when receiving the Holy Communion (Photos by Social Communications Ministry (SOCCOMM), Quiapo Church)
During his homily, Rev. Fr. Sescon Jr. emphasizes that the real presence of Jesus Christ is found every time we receive the consecrated hosts during holy communion: “Ang ating tinatanggap sa banal na komunyon – ang mga imahen, ang mga estatwa, mga larawan ay mga tanda lamang pero ang tinatanaggap natin sa Banal na Komunyon tunay na presensya ni Hesus Nazareno.” (What we receive in Holy Communion – the images, the statues, pictures are only representations – but what we receive in Holy Communion is the real presence of Jesus Nazarene). When receiving the Body of Christ during holy communion, Rev. Fr. Sescon Jr. asked the mass participants if they were becoming Christ-like in morality and actions. As he quoted Saint Augustine’s, “You are what you eat” while that is true in terms of physical signs of the body but in the aspect of spiritual being, he asked if we are living by Jesus’ examples and teachings, especially outside of the church. As he justified, the essence of communion is about not just welcoming Jesus into our hearts but also submitting ourselves to Him. In his words: “Higit pa sa ginto, higit pa sa anumang kayamanan ang inyong tinatanaggap pag tayo pumipila sa Banal na Komunyon. Kaya hinahanda natin ang ating puso. Kung kinakailangang mangumpisal, magsisi. Kaya napansin niyo kanina noong umpisa, anong unang dasal natin sa misa? Panginoon, kaawaan mo kami. Dahil gusto natin malinis tayo sa pagtanggap ng Panginon.” (More than just the gold, more than any wealth we receive when we line up for Holy Communion. So we prepare our hearts when we confess and repent. If you noticed earlier at the beginning, what is our first prayer at mass? Lord, have mercy on us. Because we want to be clean to welcome and receive the Lord).
The Corpus Christi Procession 2023 with the adoration and veneration of the Blessed Sacrament (Photos by Social Communications Ministry (SOCCOMM), Quiapo Church)
The mass concluded with a simple yet solemn Eucharistic Procession of the Blessed Sacrament inside the church. This was the alternative way to the original plan of conducting it outside as the heavy downpour of rain continued. That did not dampen the hearts of 3,100 people kneeling down before the Blessed Sacrament as a sign of adoration and reverence to the ‘King’, while the congregation sings altogether the hymn of Tantum Ergo Sacramentum. The Solemnity of Corpus Christi is not just about recognizing the divine presence of Jesus in the bread and wine during the first Institution of the Eucharist, but, moreover, how to remain in everlasting communion and covenant with Him beyond receiving His body as we proclaim the truth about Him as our Living Lord Jesus.
– Kidanzac A. Tallada | EIAM & ADRM