Dec. 21, 2023 08:34 AM
The Liturgy of the Eucharist presided by Rev. Fr. Jesus M. Madrid Jr., newly ordained Parochial Vicar of the Minor Basilica and National Shrine of Jesus Nazareno during the 12:15 noon Thanksgiving Mass (Photo by Social Communications Ministry (SOCCOMM), Quiapo Church)
QUIAPO, MANILA —On December 7, 2023, at 12:15nn, Rev. Fr. Jesus Madrid, Jr. celebrated his 2nd Thanksgiving Mass at the Minor Basilica & National Shrine of Jesus Nazareno. Along him were his four fellow newly ordained priests by His Eminence Jose Cardinal F. Advincula, D.D. at the Manila Cathedral, namely, Rev. Fr. Kim Joshua N. Bibon, Rev. Fr. Adrian Albert David, Rev. Fr. Norman Meram Gandia, and Rev. Fr. Christopher S. Crucero, LRMS. In addition, the Quiapo church clergy were also present to concelebrate: Rev. Fr. Rufino Sescon, Jr., Rev. Hans Magdurulang, Rev. Fr. Jonathan Mojica, Rev. Fr. Robert Arellano, LRMS, and Rev. Fr. Paul Medina, Ocarm, a guest priest.
(Left) Rev. Fr. Sescon Jr. addresses his homily to (Right) Rev. Fr. Madrid Jr. during the 12:15 noon Thanksgiving Mass (Photos by Social Communications Ministry (SOCCOMM), Quiapo Church)
Fr. Sescon, Jr., rector of the Basilica and National Shrine of Jesus Nazareno, was gracious enough to deliver the sermon in favor of Fr. Jes, who was celebrating the Thanksgiving mass. Fr. Sescon, Jr. apologizes that he could not mention much about how good Fr. Jes is just to flatter him. Nevertheless, he asked Fr. Jes to allow him instead to share his homily about the Quiapo and the Nazareno, which they come across in the 1st chapter of Fr. Jes’ priesthood. Fr. Sescon, Jr. asked the newly ordained priest to look at the many people attending the mass and said that he was not the reason they came, but only the Nazareno. There is only one reason why people come to Quiapo church: they desire to see and encounter Jesus the Nazarene. With this, Fr. Sescon, Jr. challenged Fr. Jes that in his priesthood, people may seek more of Jesus and let that be the reason why they continue to attend the mass in the church.
(Left) Group photo of Rev. Fr. Madrid Jr. with his mother and other family member and (Right) portrait photograph of the image of Black Nazarene as the ‘high priest’ (Photos by Social Communications Ministry (SOCCOMM), Quiapo Church)
One of the touching parts of the homily of Fr. Sescon, Jr. was when he asked Mama Beth, the mother of Fr. Jes, to pray for him that he may not run away from his responsibility and to continue offering his life for the poor and marginalized; that he may not run away from the church whenever the church seems to ask him something that he can’t do; that he may not run away from his family and the fraternity of priesthood, the concern lay people, with the mentality that he already knows everything. And most significantly, he may not run away from the mercy of God in times of strength and weakness.
In conclusion, Fr. Sescon, Jr. left a piece of advice to Fr. Jes: Whenever he needs more strength, just come back to Quiapo, especially at night. Just stare at Jesus Nazareno as the highest priest, where he is confident that necessary grace will be given to him in times of need. Jesus Nazareno will always help because, as Fr. Sescon, Jr. mentioned in the light of the story of St. Therese of the Child Jesus, “He is Jesus of Fr. Jes, and you are Fr. Jes of Jesus.”
(1st row from left to right) Rev. Fr. Madrid Jr. gives the final blessing followed by a group photograph of the priest concelebrants together with Fr. Madrid Jr.’s fellow newly ordained priest. (2nd row from left to right) Also, group photographs together with Quiapo Church staff and family and batch ordainees (Photos by Social Communications Ministry (SOCCOMM), Quiapo Church)
Right before the final blessing, Fr. Jes thanked everyone who celebrated with him during his thanksgiving mass in Quiapo Church, most especially to his fellow priests who have been with him and guiding him all along and, at the same time, his family who taught him first how to love. He also left a takeaway for everyone that their ordination is the mark of God’s love for His people through them as priests; that they may be able to make people experience the very love of God who accepts everyone, the love that strengthens, forgives, corrects and guides to all. Thus, he urged the community of faithful to remind them if one day they will no longer personify Jesus in sharing His grace and mercy. Lastly, he then asked for prayers from everyone that the five of them, the newly ordained priests, may be able to continuously give themselves as good and holy priests of Jesus the Nazarene.
– Alfrein O. Quirionez | ADRM & EIAM