No. 907 Diocese of Marbel, Philippines 7 December 2016
“Misa de Aguinaldo (also Misa de Gallo or Simbang Gabi) is a form of solemn votive masses held at dawn for nine consecutive days before Christmas in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary. At these masses the Gloria is sung on the Third and Fourth Sundays of Advent, white vestments are used, the Church and sanctuary are festively decorated, and approved musical instruments are played. If any of these days fall on Sunday, the Mass formularies and readings are those of Sundays” (Roman Missal. For use in the Dioceses of the Philippines, Manila, 2012, p. 1268).
Misa de Aguinaldo, Spanish. Mass of gift, English. Who is the giver? Who is the gift?
St. John writes: “Yes, God loved the world somuch that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him may not be lost but may have eternal life” (Jh. 3: 16).
God is the giver. Jesus Christ, the only Son of the Father is the gift. Love is the reason God gave us Jesus Christ. Expected outcome of this love is eternal life for those who accept and obey Jesus Christ.
Eternal life. Catechism for Filipino Catholics
(1) Basis. “This notion of ‘eternal life’ is based solely first, on the Living God, Source of all life, who revealed Himself in Old Testament salvation history, and especially in His Son, our Lord Jesus Christ (cf. ccc 992-996). Second, it is drawn from our faith – conviction that we have been redeemed by this SON, who by his Resurrection has become life-giver; (cf. Jh. 5: 21). Finally, that this ‘eternal life’ is “already present” is based on Jesus’ disciples whose Christian witness of word and deed draws others to ‘believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God so that through this belief they have ‘eternal life in his name’”(Jh. 20: 31) (n. 2038).
Briefly the bases: (1) God, source of all; (2) Jesus’ resurrection; (3) ‘already present’ as proven by Jesus’ disciples.
(2) Means a) “believing in Jesus”; b) sharing in his Body – the living bread (cf. Jh. 6: 51) (n. 2039).
(3) Goal – a) union with Christ; b) with the Father, c) with one another in the Spirit (cf. Jh. 15: 5, 9) (n. 2040).
D. James Kinnaird posted these: “Eternal life is a life that is full and free and forever. It is peace, joy and assurance. It is comfort, strength and hope. It’s never-ending life with God’s life in heaven after we die; but it is also abundant life here and now” (mostimportanthing.org/what-do-you-mean-by-Eternal-life).
“Misa de Gallo” – Spanish; “mass of the rooster”, English.
Pope Sixtus V (1585-1590) ordered that the mass be celebrated before sunrise to give time to the farmers to go to the farm after hearing mass, usually, at 4:00 in the morning – before or at the time the rooster crows. Reason for calling it the dawn mass.
Misa Aguinaldo’s/Misa de Gallo’s purpose: to prepare for the coming of Jesus Christ celebrated on 25 December.
We prepare by listening to the Word of God, understanding it and acting on it. (Study)
Also by praying. In the Prayers of the Faithful we pray for the needs of the universal church: the pope, bishops, religious and lay; for national needs: President, Supreme Court, Congress, Military and Philippine National Police that they may become more effective and just leaders; for local needs: the diocese, province, municipalities; for special and personal needs. (Pray).
Finally, we prepare for Christ’s first coming by acts of justice, love and mercy. The presentation of the gifts is our response to God’s gift of Jesus Christ. The offerings; money, food stuff, etc., will be used to support the pastoral activities of the parish – Christian formation, worship and social action for the needy. (Act).
HAPPY AND FRUITFUL CELEBRATION OF MISAS DE AGUINALDO/GALLO!
“Christmas” comes from Old English “cristesmaessa”, Christ’s mass. Mass means celebration. It also means sending from Latin “missa” – sent.
We celebrate the sending of the Son of God into this world. “For God sent his Son into the world not to condemn the world, but so that through him the world might be saved.” (Jh. 3: 17).
Why did God send his Son? Because God loved us. (cf. Jh. 3: 16).
Why does God love us so much? “Because God is love” (1 Jh. 4:8).
Love is the true meaning of Christmas! “God loves us and provided a way – the only Way – for us to spend eternity with him” (Lee Strobel, gotquestions.org/Christmas-true-meaning.html).
We celebrate Christ who is the head of all creation. St. Paul writes: “He is the image of the unseen God and the first-born of all creation, for in him were created all things in heaven and on earth: everything visible and invisible, Thrones, Dominations, Sovereignties, Powers – all things were created through him and for him. Before anything was created, he existed, and he holds all things in unity.” (Col. 1: 15-17).
Again, St. Paul writes: “…when the appointed time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born a subject of the Law, to redeem the subjects of the Law and to enable us to be adopted as sons” (Gal. 4: 4).
God became man – Jesus Christ, God the Son – so that man and women may become like God – people in love with God and with one another.
Let our Christmas 2016 be merry, happy and holy. Let us perform works of justice, love and mercy!
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