TO BECOME true devotees, Catholics should not only seek Jesus but also emulate His way of life through the undertakings of the Traslación, Manila Archbishop Jose Cardinal Advincula said.
In his homily during the misa mayor for the celebration of the Feast of the Black Nazarene, Advincula called on Catholics to consider Traslación as a means to see and be seen by Jesus as well as to show Him to other people.
“A true devotee is a model whose life reflects Jesus’ life. A devotee is a model of having faith in Jesus and having concern for others…A devotee carries in his heart his unity with Jesus,” Advincula said on Tuesday, Jan. 9, at the Quirino Grandstand.
“In the Traslación, let us show Jesus to one another. In pulling the rope, let us show Jesus who pulls us together and untangles the knots that are our problems. As we walk behind the carriage, let us show Jesus who pushes us so that we can move forward in a renewed life,” he added.
The archbishop noted that simply opening one’s eyes to see the grace of God gives a person the strength to face the trials brought about by life. He said Jesus has already sought mankind’s redemption before people have gone to find their way back to Him.
“He sees the efforts of each of us, the dreams of children and the perseverance of adults. He sees us and…understands whatever we are going through,” Advincula said.
“And when Jesus sees through us, he sees us through. When Jesus sees us, He will support us. He will help us. He will be with us and He will bless us.”
According to the prelate, Jesus became man to know His people and lift them from their sufferings. Those who then have faith in the Black Nazarene would not fall in peril and will be rewarded with eternal life, he added.
“Let us show that it is Jesus who saves us so that we do not fall into error and destruction. As we move with each step, let us show Jesus who guides us to the right path,” Advincula said.
“Like what we do during Traslación, let us help one another so that we all see Him and experience His love.”
The Traslación began at the Quirino Grandstand and will pass through more than 20 streets in Manila, which local officials said could last for at least 16 hours.
About two and a half million devotees are seen to join the first-ever Traslacion after its three-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the Philippine National Police. It was previously replaced with the Walk of Faith in 2023, in which the image of the Black Nazarene was not present during the procession.
Before the pandemic, devotees would climb to the 400-year-old image to touch or wipe it with their handkerchiefs and towels, believing the Nuestro Padre Jesus Nazareno statue would grant miracles and heal their illnesses. However, devotees would now be prohibited from climbing the andas or the wheeled carriage of the image for safety reasons, according to the Quiapo Church.
The Quiapo Church also brought back the traditional “Pahalik,” or the kissing of the image from Jan. 6 to 8 at the Quirino Grandstand. F – with reports from Katherine Chan