A glimmer becomes a spectacle
Carlo S. Dureza
Light. Bible stories have used something bright numerous times to illustrate how the Lord has revealed Himself to His people. Brightness conveys an image of God.
Among the very first verses in the book of Genesis include, “Let there be light!”, uttered by God Almighty, creator of heaven and earth.
Likewise, the evangelists’ accounts of Christ’s birth carry another verse that says,“and the people have seen a great light, a light that darkness could not overcome.” Written in the storylines of Jesus’ birth were the Magi or three wise men from the East who were mentioned as having seen a star which light would guide them to the newly-born babe.
Even the Book of Revelations pictures God surrounded by His angels ascending and descending with blaring trumpets surrounded by the sun, the moon and the stars awash in light with pomp and grandeur!
Centuries and decades that followed showed Catholic tradition carrying in its institutions the light which has been prominently highlighted as an image of God.
Customarily, the faithful go to church to pray, attend mass, offer special petitions and seek God’s guidance to wend their way out of life’s labyrinths. They spend hours in solitude seeking answers to questions and solutions to problems. They pine for the light. They search for God.
People storm their favorite saints with novenas and special devotions to implore intercessions for their share of woes be it a wayward child, a debilitating illness, the need for a job, a special intention to perform well in a qualifying exam or to end a burdensome family concern or simply to ask for fairness or recompense for an offense done.
Why not pray before the Blessed Sacrament?
The Blessed Sacrament inspires one into prayer. It is the Bread of Life, the Living God. It is the Light of the World. It draws one into silent, fervent prayer that seeks to receive light. This Living Bread nourishes us all so we would be invigorated to have life in all its fullness.
In the Parish of the Holy Sacrifice, the Tabernacle that bears the Blessed Sacrament is situated near the church sacristy. (This structure is different from the Adoration Chapel itself, wherein the Blessed Sacrament in a monstrance is exposed for adoration and prayer.) It is a box-shaped, brass-like structure sitting up front a wooden panel and perched atop a one-tiered spiral stairway made of marble and iron. A lamp with a red flickering light stands slightly above the box towards the side of the stairway. This living bread of Christ is placed at the back portion of the church. Upon panoramic view, the Tabernacle could be recognized at the back-most part of the circular church. Regular churchgoers are easily familiar with it.
Upon a closer look however, the Tabernacle looks dark and drab. It looks like as a mere speck, a glimmer of light in a spacious abode. The predominantly dark-brown color of the box-like figure as well as of its wall-backdrop makes this very sacred fixture in church look flat and lifeless. Glancing at it sharply would make one think that it seems to appear counter to the very purpose for which it exists – to spread the light of God. For some years, it could somehow be seen as a sulking spot in the church that silently cries to be infused with vitality.
It was not until July of this year 2017 that a much-awaited change occurred. Thankfully, the Blessed Sacrament had a refreshing face-lift. Courtesy of a kind-hearted person and a friend of the parish priest, Fr. Henry E. Ferreras, thin metal ridges cut and polished to its brightest sheen were assembled to form a halo that was attached to the drab wall. Symbolizing light, the halo cast a brightness that illumined the Bread of Life.
The erstwhile glimmer of light with traces of darkness at the church corner and which may just have dampened the spirits of those offering prayers has re-surged into a shimmering spectacle to behold! The newly adorned Tabernacle spreads its rays of light as a beacon of hope to those who call unto the Lord. It radiates a profound sense of assurance of the Lord’s presence. It ignites a faith whispering that prayers brought before it would be answered.
For the photo, please juxtapose the old Tabernacle with the new one.