The Bishops Homily – Day 7 Misa De Gallo

Day Seven: Misa De Gallo
22 December 2016 and the night before (Simbang Gabi)
I Sam. 1: 24-28 / I Sam. 2: 1-8
Lk. 1: 46-56

Introduction: Mary’s Magnificat in Luke is one magnanimous prayer from the heart. It is a prayer that is expansive enough to cover the entire history of God’s redeeming work in the past as well as in the future. The key to understanding God’s redeeming work is His mercy.

(1) Our first duty in communion is prayer. Our first mission in the world is to be a leaven to teach our society how to pray. Parishes and communities will be renewed only through personal and community prayer. The prayer of a shepherd for his sheep is always music to the ears of God. Prayer is an act of love and whether of praise or contrition or petition – is always a plea for mercy. Prayer is anchor of the parish and our cornerstone. Parishes and BEC’s will be renewed as oasis of mercy through reparation for sins, frequent confession and acts of mercy.

(2) Our communities are centers of praying and forgiving. Prayer of praise, thanksgiving, penance, and intercessions are developed among the members and leaders. Such prayers develop broadness of vision, expansion of one’s interest and develop connections with the whole of humanity. Such prayers reach-out to the ends of the earth, help those unknown people who are intensely suffering, touch even the most hardened sinner for from us; can alleviate the pain of a refugee; can seek the grace of forgiveness. We cannot underestimate the power of prayer. It is stronger than the evils of this world. (St. Therese of Lisieux)

(3) Often, our prayers are limited to one’s family and relatives or for the souls in purgatory. Why not for those being killed unjustly, or those who have nothing to eat; those innocently accused of crimes; or imprisoned without a just cause. Our prayers have become too narrow and self-serving. Prayers should expand and open our heart to the whole world leading to embrace it despite itself.

Conclusion: Check your prayers how they fair even a little to Mary’s Magnificat!

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

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