Oct. 17, 2023 02:17 PM
The Minor Basilica and National Shrine of Jesus Nazareno’s lay workforce group picture with the church’s clerggy in celebrating the solemn dedication of the church to St. John the Baptist after the 12:15 noon Thanksgiving Mass on September 28, 2023 (Photo by Social Communications Ministry (SOCCOMM), Quiapo Church)
QUIAPO, Manila – Rev. Jesus Madrid Jr., deacon to the Minor Basilica and National Shrine of the Black Nazarene, described this church as the symbol of faith and devotion popular to all people drawing closer to the miraculously venerated image of the Black Nazarene, the Lord Himself:
“Ang Quiapo ay tahanang itinalaga upang maransan ng mga tao ang mapagkalingang preseniya ng Diyos. Hindi lamang ito isang gusali. Ito ay lugar kung saan tayo tinatagpo ng ating Diyos.” (Quiapo is an abode, where we can feel the caring presence of our Lord. This is not just a building of worship. This serves as our meeting place with the Lord).
Rev. Jesus Madrid, deacon-in-charge, delivered his homily in front of the community of faithful (left) and some employees of Quiapo Church attended the celebration of the dedication of the church (right) (Photos by Social Communications Ministry (SOCCOMM), Quiapo Church)
During his homily in the 12:15 noon Thanksgiving Mass, Rev. Madrid Jr. delivered two points of invitations to reflect on the 36th Anniversary of the Reconsecration of the main altar and the Dedication of the church to St. John the Baptist on September 28, 2023. The first one was we are called to be stewards in protecting the Church, this home to Jesus the Nazarene beyond structure:“Igalang po natin, mahalin, huwag hayaan masira at bumagsak upang matuloy na may mapuntahan ang mga taong nahahnap ng pag-asa. Tahanan po ito ng Diyos.” (Let us respect, love and do everything to safeguard the integrity (of the church) for the people continually seeking hope in the Lord. He lives here).
Rev. Madrid Jr. recalled his earlier days as a seminarian sent to Leyte. There, he had witnessed the unwavering and much-strengthened faith of the affected residents of Typhoon Yolanda in rebuilding their destroyed chapel. Otherwise, it would make them feel empty in a spiritual sense despite the fact that their livelihoods can still be restored. For them, where can they go when they need to meet and talk with God without a place? Hence, everything they did was because of their love for the Lord.
The second invitation can be found in the second reading by St. Paul, attributing us being ‘God’s building.’ From baptism, we are already called as the Lord resides in us. Madrid said this sacrament is an invitation to be the heralders of God’s presence.
“Sana nawa katulad ng gusaling ito yung buhay natin ay maging mukha ng pag-asa, di yun mukha na walang gana. Nawa maging mukha tayo ng pagkakaisa at hindi ng pagkakawatakwatak. Maging mukha tayo ng konsensya ng Diyos at hindi mukha ng demonyo.” (May we become the embodiment of hope just like this building. Not the face of losing faith and purpose. May we become the symbol of unity and not of destruction. May we become the face of God’s conscience and not of the devil’s wickedness).
This celebration commemorates the historical milestone when the altar was newly blessed by the late His Eminence Jaime Cardinal L. Sin, Archbishop of Manila, who led the rites of church dedication to the patronage of St. John the Baptist on September 28, 1987. The same date, September 28, for the Feast of Saint Lorenzo de Ruiz, the first Filipino saint. Rev. Fr. Rufino C. Sescon Jr. described Msgr. Jose C. Abriol as a ‘visionary’ leader who had successfully seen the need to expand the church interior to accommodate the growing number of devotees, which became a crucial factor in the church’s elevation to a Minor Basilica on December 11, 1987.