Day Three: Misa De Gallo
18 December 2016 and the night before (Simbang Gabi)
Is. 7: 10-14
Rom. 1: 1-7
Mt. 1: 18-24
Introduction: The 4th Sunday of Advent gives Joseph the dreamer and a just man as the model and inspiration of achieving Communion. He is presented as being open to God’s plan and being ready to work and cooperate with God in fulfilling God’s plan for the salvation of his people. God after all is Emmanuel: God always with us and for us. What are the signs of this openness and readiness to cooperate with God’s plan?
(1) 2017 as the Year of Parish as Communion of Communities challenges us to more deeply discern not only the structure of governance in our dioceses and parishes but also the quality of faith-life in the parish: the fellowship, belongingness, and participation, experienced by its members. In short, the focus is building a parish that is truly a faith-community immersed and very involved in the lives of its people.
(2) To become a communion of communities, the parish has to undergo a yearly process of planning, implementing, evaluating, all the time rethinking together the goals, the programs and ministries. This cannot be achieved by the priest alone. The building up of a parish community becomes a common endeavor of Clergy, Religious, and Laity. Source of communion: Clergy, Religious, Laity working and praying together to renew the parish. Renewing a parish community is renewing the individual members; renewing its member is renewing the Parish.
(3) Communion expands and further deepens with exchanges of experiences and ideas, approaches and conflicts encountered, and of problem-solving process and strategies.
Conclusion: These signs that King Ahaz did not even dare to ask God now God himself gives these as gifts to the Church that Jesus himself built and founded.
Most Rev. Antonio R. Tobias, DD
Bishop of Novaliches