Faithful called to 3 ways of ’emptying’
Fr. Alfredo Meneses, Jr., parish priest of St. Mary Magdalene Parish blesses the image of the Black Nazarene of Quiapo during its visit to the St. Mary Magdalene Parish in Pililla, Rizal, Feb. 18, 2018. JECK MASINSIN
By Kendric Ivan Panganiban
February 21, 2018
Preaching during the thanksgiving Mass for the 11th visit of the image of the Black Nazarene of Quiapo to the St. Mary Magdalene Parish in Pililla, Rizal on Sunday, a priest reminded the faithful that all Christians are called to empty themselves in three ways in imitation of Jesus’ example.
“The greatest sacrifice that anyone could give to Jesus is in imitating Him, to empty oneself as He did,” said Fr. Alfredo E. Meneses, Jr.
Explaining the Greek term kenosis or self-emptying, he told devotees of the Nuestro Padre Jesus Nazareno that because Jesus emptied Himself for humanity in His sacrifice on the Cross, so are Christians called to do the same.
The Nazareno’s face
“In order for us to be able to imitate His sacrifice, we give Him three things: we empty ourselves with fidelity, we empty ourselves with our loyalty and we empty ourselves with our humility,” said Meneses.
He said the image of the “Nazareno has a face and that face is that of a person who has submitted Himself to the will of God.” The Nazareno’s example of following the Father has made him an instrument for the faithful’s “reflection and conversion.”
Meneses noted that obedience is not easy but emptying oneself is the only way to fully surrender. “Yes, it is difficult to be faithful. Yes, it is difficult to be loyal. Yes, it is difficult to turn down one’s ego in order to listen rather than force yourself on other people. Yet it is only in turning from ourselves, to empty ourselves that God can take control of our lives.”
The second day of the three-day visit featured a thanksgiving Mass held at the Stairs of Faith Monument in the parish patio and a procession around the town proper. Devotees and pilgrims from nearby towns flocked to the church to venerate and touch the Nazareno.
Meneses thanked Quiapo Church rector Msgr. Hernando Coronel for once again approving the request for the visit of the pilgrim image, one of many replicas of the Black Nazarene brought to different parts of the country.
The image’s three-day visit to the parish is scheduled annually, usually between February to March during the Lenten season. CBCPNews