The Bishops Homily – Day 4 Misa De Gallo

Day Four: Misa De Gallo
19 December 2016 and the night before (Simbang Gabi)
Jgs. 13: 2-7: 24-25
Lk. 1: 5-25

Introduction: The 4th Day of the Simbang Gabi focuses on a Jewish couple of priestly class: Elizabeth and Zachary who with their only son John born in their old age forms a family, the basic unit of society and the materials for the future BEC. What is BEC?

(1) In the Philippines, the vision of the Church as Communion is today finding expression in one ecclesial movement to foster and encourage BEC, usually emerging from the grassroots. BEC consciously strives to integrate faith and daily life, are guided and encouraged by regular catechesis. Poverty and one’s faith urge their members towards solidarity with one another, action for justice, and towards a vibrant celebration of Life in the Liturgy.

(2) The BEC is a very important venue or locus for developing and strengthening unity and communion. It is small enough a group and those gathered usually have common issues to tackle.

(3) BEC cannot always dwell on the very local situations and issues. It needs to expand its interests and concerns on those touching national and global issues on the political, social, economic, and cultural realms. It has to develop the capacity to embrace the universal concerns of the Church. BEC is encouraged to be kept informed to be able to be in solidarity with those most disadvantaged in society.
Conclusion: In the Gospel for today, Elizabeth, wife of Zachariah, who despite her husband’s unbelief, came to recognize God’s intervention on their behalf and on ours, taking away their shame of being childless and bringing joy to the couple and to the world.

Most Rev. Antonio R. Tobias, DD
Bishop of Novaliches