BY: Fr. Benny Tuazon


HOMILY: (Jn. 3:22-30) Saturday After Epiphany

In today’s Gospel John was asked by his disciples regarding Jesus who was also baptising. John took the opportunity to introduce Jesus as the one who is to come. Almost done with his role, he was just very willing to let Jesus take the centre stage in order to facilitate the plan of salvation by God. In John’s words, “He (Jesus) must increase; I must decrease.”

Humility is the one thread which characterized our salvation. Mary and Joseph also showed exemplary humility before the Lord. And now, Jesus, the Nazorean, the Second Person of the Trinity, became man, was born in a manger, and was welcomed by the poor shepherds. What capped this humble action was the way Jesus met His death. He died in the most excruciating, embarrassing, humiliating, and scandalous way. The cross then was so hated a death that Romans exempted themselves from that kind of death no matter how heinous were their crimes. Romans, they felt, did not deserve such a barbaric and inhuman death.

Just days ago a significant event in the life of the Filipino Catholic happened here in Manila. The Traslacion, the ritual transferring of the Black Nazarene image from the Luneta back to the St. John the Baptist Church in Quiapo via a rigorous, deliberate, and patronized procession, took place. Millions of devotees from all over the country participated. In a way, everyone adapted a state of humility in union with the humble Lord. Devotees were mostly the humbled in society; poor, ordinary workers, vendors, ex-convicts, students, sick, etc. Note too that the patron of the church is St. John the Baptist. But it was more visited for the Poong Itim na Nazareno! Even the color “black” participates in bannering the Lord Jesus’ humility. Up to now, John, through the church, is still proclaiming, “He must increase; I must decrease.”

Let us pray that the humility of the Lord will not be lost in the devotion. No doubt, the Black Nazarene image had been a cause and source of so many healing and miracles to many. The Lord Jesus continues to respond to the humble faith of His people. They had found an ally, friend, and companion in Him. Let us hope that His humility will infect the devotees and thus profit from it the way He did. Humility brought forth salvation. Humility will help the devotees avail of His graces.

Let us pray for the safety of everyone and may the Traslacion achieve for the devotees and the Church their longing and mission.

Jesus of Nazareth!

King of Kings!

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