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Simbang Gabi (Misa del Gallo)

Submitted by on Saturday, 13 December 20083 Comments

Parol1

From December 16 until the 24th, Advent masses in the Philippines take on a different twist. We will be celebrating the Christmas novena masses which will begin at 4 AM. This year, December 21 will fall on a Sunday, so for this date, the liturgy for the fourth Sunday of Advent will be celebrated. Below are the readings for the Misa del Gallo with some commentaries.

DATE READINGS COMMENT
December 16 Isaiah 56:1-3.6-8
Slm 66
John 5:33-36
A House of Prayer for all Nations

The inclusion of non-Israelites into the people of Yahweh is highlighted here. The situation is like that of Ruth and Naomi: Naomi a Moabite becomes a part of Boaz’ clan, and therefore is numbered among the Jews, because of her hesed. In the same way, even foreigners who show loyalty to the covenant — that is to the Law of Moses — will become part of Yahweh’s people. They too will be able to worship in the Temple which will become a house of prayer for all peoples.
The reading is included in the cycle of readings for Advent because the Son of God’s Incarnation will be for the sake of all humanity. The Isaianic oracle also points to the Church that will include both Jews and Gentiles.

The Witnesses to Jesus

In John 5:33-36, Jesus talks about the testimony given about him. There are three who testify to him: John the Baptist, his works and the Father. The reading is chosen for Advent because of verses 33-35, but most especially 35: "John was like a lamp burning and shining, and you were willing for a while to enjoy his light."

December 17 Genesis 49:2.8-10
Slm 71
Matthew 1:1-17

The Blessing to Judah

The selection is about Israel’s blessing to Judah on the eve of the Exodus. The blessing looks to a time when Judah will have the sceptre, that is, to the time of the Messiah. This blessing will be upgraded into an oath pronounced to David, the king of Judah and of the whole of Israel.

The genealogy of Christ

The genealogy is the Jew’s identification card. It places him within the history of the people of Israel and among its tribes. Jesus is clearly identified as belonging to the tribe of Judah and of the clan of David. In the line of Jesus’ descent, the foreigner Ruth is remembered (through Boaz), and the irregular levirate marriage of Tamar is recalled Both women are known for their hesed; in the case of Tamar, it was a loyalty that even the patriarch Judah had to recognized. Remembered too is the sin of David with Bathsheba, the mother of Solomon. The part of the genealogy which is indicative of Jesus’ divine origins (to be explained in the account of his conception, Matthew 1:18 ff) is in v. 16 "Jacob, the father of Joseph the husband of Mary — of her was born Jesus, called the Messiah."

December 18 Jeremiah 23:5-8
Slm 71
Matthew 1:18-24

The Righteous King

Part of the oracle about the Messiah (Jeremiah 23:1-8). Jeremiah looks to the time after the exile when God will bring back his people from the lands of the north. It will be a new time of relationship with Yahweh who will be invoked as the Living God who brought His people out of exile. The king to be chosen will be called "the Lord is Our Salvation". The name echoes that of Jesus, Yeshua, Salvation.

The Anunciation to Joseph

The narrative explains Matthew 1:16, the note that it was from Mary, the husband of Joseph, that Jesus was born. The narrative highlights the following:
(a) Joseph’s love for Mary whom he did not want exposed
(b) his faith in the angel’s message and obedience to God
(c) the fulfillment of the Isaianic passage about a virgin who will give birth to a son (Isaiah 7:14)

Relevant Article

December 19 Judg. 13:2-7.24-25
Slm 70
Lc. 1:5-25

The Birth of Samson

The story is about Samson’s birth. Samson was from the womb of her mother a nazirite, a man dedicated to God. He is one of the judges of Israel, that is one of its superheroes, through whom God will save his people. This is not the case similar to the virgin birth of Mary, since, the story teller tells us that the wife was barren. The case is similar to that of the mother of John the Baptist. In fact, the reading from Luke with which this selection of the Judges is coordinated for the Simbang Gabi, is about the conception of the Baptist.

The Annunciation to Zechariah

The beginning of Luke’s infancy narratives is the annunciation to Zechariah, and is an integral element in his comparison between John the Baptist and Jesus. The concern is to show that from birth, it was John’s role to point to the coming Messiah, Jesus. As in the case of Manoah’s wife, the Baptist’s mother was barren. There is an added difficulty in Luke: she was, like Zechariah, already advanced in age. The skepticism of Zechariah made him mute. He will not be able to speak until the birth of the Baptist.

December 20 Isaiah 7:10-14
Slm 23
Lc. 1:26-38

The Sign of the Immanuel

A threat upon the kingdom of Judah is the backdrop of the prophecy of Isaiah about the virgin that shall give birth to a son who will be known as Immanu-el, God is with us. The Hebrew original speaks of a almah, a young girl; the LXX translated it into parthenos (the equivalent of which in Hebrew is bethulah) — perhaps envisioning a dedicated virgin. The birth of the Immanuel which will the occassion of the lifting of the threat to Judah, will prove to King Ahab that God is with His people.

The Annunciation to Mary

If Matthew presented the annunciation of Jesus’ birth from a male perspective, here we find Luke putting Mary at the center stage. It is through Mary’s "fiat" that the Incarnation is realized. With her and Elizabeth, Luke underscores the role of women at the beginning of salvation history. He will highlight this when the two women meet later on.

December 21 [See Sunday Mass Readings for the 4th Sunday of Advent]  
December 22 1 Samuel 1:24-28
1 Sam. 2
Lc. 1:46-56

A Song of Thanksgiving for Samuel

Samuel is the last judge of Israel and the one who anoints the first king of Israel, Saul, and the messiah, David. This is the story of his birth. He was born of a woman who had difficulty giving birth; it was because of this woman’s prayer with the blessing of Eli the priest of Shiloh that Samuel was born. The selection from 1 Samuel is the song his mother sings, a song that points to Mary’s song of praise.

The Magnificat

In Mary’s song of praise, the theme of the reversal of fortunes that Luke will develop throughout his gospel is highlighted. The song is actually about the fidelity of God to his promise. John Paul II explains this fidelity as the masculine love of God: loyal, faithful, trustworthy. The privilege given to the humble maid from Nazareth is proof that the promises to Abraham will be realized.

December 23 Malakias 3:1-4.23-24
Slm 24
Lc. 1:57-66

The Messenger I Send Before You

For the Simbang Gabi cycle of readings, the selection from Malachi 3 points to the figure of John the Baptist (see Mark 1:1-8). In itself, the oracle speaks of a messenger that will purify the Temple before the awaited One arrives, the Lord Himself. The messenger is identified as Elijah the prophet (mal. 3:23-24) who will "turn the hearts of the children to their fathers."

The Birth of John the Baptist

Zechariah regains his voice at the christening of his son. And with his healing, he also pronounces the place of John the Baptist in the history of salvation (see following card). John is Yohanan, "Yahweh has manifested his compassion." With the appearance of John, a new period of salvation has begun. This is captured in the liturgy with the selection of readings from the Book of Consolation associated with the ministry of the Baptist.

December 24 2 Samuel 7:1-5.8-12.14,16
Slm 88
Lc. 1:67-79

The Covenant with David

The episode from this selection from 2 Samuel is about the oath to David whose descendants will have the monarchy in Israel. The desire of David to build the House for Yahweh is answered: it is through David’s son that the Lord will have His House. The Davidic covenant is realized in the New Covenant that will be forged in the blood of His Son, the Messiah.

The Prophecy about John the Baptist

The selection continues the narration of the christening of the Baptist. On the eighth day of his birth, the baby is circumcised and given a name. The name given is "yohanan", the Lord has shown his mercy. Zechariah pronounces a prophecy, explaining the name.

The prophecy contains the following ideas:
(a) the God is sending His Messiah
(b) who will be the light for Israel
(c) and the Baptist is going to be the one who prepares his way

Zechariah actually is saying that all those prophetic figures foretold in the past who will come before the Day of the Lord (see Mal. 3:23-24) will be realized in his son.

December 25 Isaiah 9:1-6
Slm 95
Titus 2:11-14
Lc. 2:1-14

The Light That Shines In The Darkness

The prophecy is couched in the language of an announcement of a king’s heir. The birth of the son is hope for a new tomorrow. The titles and attributes enumerated is that of a future king. Isaiah 9:1-5 is associated by Matthew with the beginning of Jesus’ ministry in Galilee. This in turn is — in the evangelist’s point of view — is a foretaste of the mission of the Church among the Gentiles.

The Revelation of God’s Grace

In the context of Paul’s exhortation to Titus, the apostle to the Gentiles gives the theological basis for Christian conduct: God’s grace has appeared and therefore those who have received it should it turn manifest it in their lives. The word "grace" can mean the condescension of a master for his slave. It can also mean the fidelity of people to their word (as in Ruth’s hesed, see v. 12)

The Birth of Jesus

Luke’s narration of the birth of the Messiah is literally constructed so as to highlight
(a) the census that occassions the trip of Joseph and his wife to Bethlehem, the birthplace of David
(b) the circumstances that led to the birth of the Son of David in poverty
(c) the message of his birth received by shepherds who were out on the fields at night

The sign that the angels give the shepherds is that of a child wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. The child born in a manger — in a feeding trough — in a place called "House of Bread" points to the identity of this child who would later on present himself as "the Bread come down from heaven"

Translation note: The Good News mistakenly translates the word for "firstborn" as "first son". The Jewish idea of "first-born" is not the same as "first son". First-born is a legal term which identifies Jesus as the one who inherits everything. One may be a "first-born" without being followed by a sibling; "first son" has that connotation.

Isaiah 56:1-3
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg LXX Hebrew
1Thus saith the Lord: Keep ye judgment, and do justice: for my salvation is near to come, and my justice to be revealed.
2Blessed is the man that doth this, and the son of man that shall lay hold on this: that keepeth the sabbath from profaning it, that keepeth his hands from doing any evil.
3And let not the son of the stranger, that adhereth to the Lord, speak, saying: The Lord will divide and separate me from his people. And let not the eunuch say: Behold I am a dry tree.
John 5:33-36
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
33You sent to John, and he gave testimony to the truth.
34But I receive not testimony from man: but I say these things, that you may be saved.
35He was a burning and a shining light: and you were willing for a time to rejoice in his light.
36But I have a greater testimony than that of John: for the works which the Father hath given me to perfect; the works themselves, which I do, give testimony of me, that the Father hath sent me.
John 5:33-36
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
33You sent to John, and he gave testimony to the truth.
34But I receive not testimony from man: but I say these things, that you may be saved.
35He was a burning and a shining light: and you were willing for a time to rejoice in his light.
36But I have a greater testimony than that of John: for the works which the Father hath given me to perfect; the works themselves, which I do, give testimony of me, that the Father hath sent me.
Genesis 49:2
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg LXX Hebrew
2Gather yourselves together, and hear, O ye sons of Jacob, hearken to Israel your father:
Matthew 1:1-17
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
1The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham:
2Abraham begot Isaac. And Isaac begot Jacob. And Jacob begot Judas and his brethren.
3And Judas begot Phares and Zara of Thamar. And Phares begot Esron. And Esron begot Aram.
4And Aram begot Aminadab. And Aminadab begot Naasson. And Naasson begot Salmon.
5And Salmon begot Booz of Rahab. And Booz begot Obed of Ruth. And Obed begot Jesse.
6And Jesse begot David the king. And David the king begot Solomon, of her that had been the wife of Urias.
7And Solomon begot Roboam. And Roboam begot Abia. And Abia begot Asa.
8And Asa begot Josaphat. And Josaphat begot Joram. And Joram begot Ozias.
9And Ozias begot Joatham. And Joatham begot Achaz. And Achaz begot Ezechias.
10And Ezechias begot Manasses. And Manesses begot Amon. And Amon begot Josias.
11And Josias begot Jechonias and his brethren in the transmigration of Babylon.
12And after the transmigration of Babylon, Jechonias begot Salathiel. And Salathiel begot Zorobabel.
13And Zorobabel begot Abiud. And Abiud begot Eliacim. And Eliacim begot Azor.
14And Azor begot Sadoc. And Sadoc begot Achim. And Achim begot Eliud.
15And Eliud begot Eleazar. And Eleazar begot Mathan. And Mathan begot Jacob.
16And Jacob begot Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ.
17So all the generations, from Abraham to David, are fourteen generations. And from David to the transmigration of Babylon, are fourteen generations: and from the transmigration of Babylon to Christ are fourteen generations.
Matthew 1:18
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
18Now the generation of Christ was in this wise. When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child, of the Holy Ghost.
Jeremiah 23:5-8
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg LXX Hebrew
5Behold the days come, saith the Lord, and I will raise up to David a just branch: and a king shall reign, and shall be wise, and shall execute judgement and justice in the earth.
6In those days shall Juda be saved, and Israel shall dwell confidently: and this is the name that they shall call him: the Lord our just one.
7Therefore behold the days to come, saith the Lord, and they shall say no more: The Lord liveth, who brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt:
8But the Lord liveth, who hath brought out, and brought hither the seed of the house of Israel from the land of the north, and out of all the lands, to which I had cast them forth: and they shall dwell in their own land.
Matthew 1:18-24
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
18Now the generation of Christ was in this wise. When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child, of the Holy Ghost.
19Whereupon Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing publicly to expose her, was minded to put her away privately.
20But while he thought on these things, behold the angel of the Lord appeared to him in his sleep, saying: Joseph, son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife, for that which is conceived in her, is of the Holy Ghost.
21And she shall bring forth a son: and thou shalt call his name JESUS. For he shall save his people from their sins.
22Now all this was done that it might be fulfilled which the Lord spoke by the prophet, saying:
23Behold a virgin shall be with child, and bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.
24And Joseph rising up from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him, and took unto him his wife.
Jeremiah 23:1-8
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg LXX Hebrew
1Woe to the pastors, that destroy and tear the sheep of my pasture, saith the Lord.
2Therefore thus saith the Lord the God of Israel to the pastors that feed my people: You have scattered my flock, and driven them away, and have not visited them: behold I will visit upon you for the evil of your doings, saith the Lord.
3And I will gather together the remnant of my flock, out of all the lands into which I have cast them out: and I will make them return to their own fields, and they shall increase and be multiplied.
4And I will set up pastors over them, and they shall feed them: they shall fear no more, and they shall not be dismayed: and none shall be wanting of their number, saith the Lord.
5Behold the days come, saith the Lord, and I will raise up to David a just branch: and a king shall reign, and shall be wise, and shall execute judgement and justice in the earth.
6In those days shall Juda be saved, and Israel shall dwell confidently: and this is the name that they shall call him: the Lord our just one.
7Therefore behold the days to come, saith the Lord, and they shall say no more: The Lord liveth, who brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt:
8But the Lord liveth, who hath brought out, and brought hither the seed of the house of Israel from the land of the north, and out of all the lands, to which I had cast them forth: and they shall dwell in their own land.
Matthew 1:16
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
16And Jacob begot Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ.
Isaiah 7:14
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg LXX Hebrew
14Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign. Behold a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and his name shall be called Emmanuel.
Isaiah 7:10-14
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg LXX Hebrew
10And the Lord spoke again to Achaz, saying:
11Ask thee a sign of the Lord thy God either unto the depth of hell, or unto the height above.
12And Achaz said: I will not ask, and I will not tempt the Lord.
13And he said: Hear ye therefore, O house of David: Is it a small thing for you to be grievous to men, that you are grievous to my God also?
14Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign. Behold a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and his name shall be called Emmanuel.
1 Samuel 1:24-28
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg LXX Hebrew
24And after she had weaned him, she carried him with her, with three calves, and three bushels of flour, and a bottle of wine, and she brought him to the house of the Lord in Silo. Now the child was as yet very young:
25And they immolated a calf, and offered the child to Heli.
26And Anna said: I beseech thee, my lord, as thy soul liveth, my lord: I am that woman who stood before thee here praying to the Lord.
27For this child did I pray, and the Lord hath granted me my petition, which I asked of him.
28Therefore I also have lent him to the Lord all the days of his life, he shall be lent to the Lord. And they adored the Lord there. And Anna prayed, and said:
Mark 1:1-8
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
1The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
2As it is written in Isaias the prophet: Behold I send my angel before thy face, who shall prepare the way before thee.
3A voice of one crying in the desert: Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight his paths.
4John was in the desert baptizing, and preaching the baptism of penance, unto remission of sins.
5And there went out to him all the country of Judea, and all they of Jerusalem, and were baptized by him in the river of Jordan, confessing their sins.
6And John was clothed with camel's hair, and a leathern girdle about his loins; and he ate locusts and wild honey.
7And he preached, saying: There cometh after me one mightier than I, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to stoop down and loose.
8I have baptized you with water; but he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost.
2 Samuel 7:1-5
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg LXX Hebrew
1And it came to pass when the king sat in his house, and the Lord had given him rest on every side from all his enemies,
2He said to Nathan the prophet: Dost thou see that I dwell in a house of cedar, and the ark of God is lodged within skins?
3And Nathan said to the king: Go, do all that is in thy heart: because the Lord is with thee.
4But it came to pass that night, that the word of the Lord came to Nathan, saying:
5Go, and say to my servant David: Thus saith the Lord: Shalt thou build me a house to dwell in?
Isaiah 9:1-6
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg LXX Hebrew
1At the first time the land of Zabulon, and the land of Nephtali was lightly touched: and at the last the way of the sea beyond the Jordan of the Galilee of the Gentiles was heavily loaded.
2The people that walked in darkness, have seen a great light: to them that dwelt in the region of the shadow of death, light is risen.
3Thou hast multiplied the nation, and hast not increased the joy. They shall rejoice before thee, as they that rejoice in the harvest, as conquerors rejoice after taking a prey, when they divide the spoils.
4For the yoke of their burden, and the rod of their shoulder, and the sceptre of their oppressor thou best overcome, as in the day of Median.
5For every violent taking of spoils, with tumult, and garment mingled with blood, shall be burnt, and be fuel for the fire.
6For a CHILD IS BORN to us, and a son is given to us, and the government is upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called, Wonderful, Counsellor, God the Mighty, the Father of the world to come, the Prince of Peace.
Titus 2:11-14
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
11For the grace of God our Saviour hath appeared to all men;
12Instructing us, that, denying ungodliness and worldly desires, we should live soberly, and justly, and godly in this world,
13Looking for the blessed hope and coming of the glory of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ,
14Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and might cleanse to himself a people acceptable, a pursuer of good works.
Isaiah 9:1-5
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg LXX Hebrew
1At the first time the land of Zabulon, and the land of Nephtali was lightly touched: and at the last the way of the sea beyond the Jordan of the Galilee of the Gentiles was heavily loaded.
2The people that walked in darkness, have seen a great light: to them that dwelt in the region of the shadow of death, light is risen.
3Thou hast multiplied the nation, and hast not increased the joy. They shall rejoice before thee, as they that rejoice in the harvest, as conquerors rejoice after taking a prey, when they divide the spoils.
4For the yoke of their burden, and the rod of their shoulder, and the sceptre of their oppressor thou best overcome, as in the day of Median.
5For every violent taking of spoils, with tumult, and garment mingled with blood, shall be burnt, and be fuel for the fire.

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3 Comments »

  • Daily Inspirations » This Category Momentarily Closed said:

    […] I have written short commentaries on both the gospel and old testament readings for those days here. The only day I left out uncommented is December 21, which is a Sunday. For this day, you may check […]

  • Daily Inspirations » Simbang Gabi 2009 said:

    […] the rest of the Simbang Gabi readings, please see this page. Isaiah 53:1-3View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg LXX Hebrew1Who hath believed our report? and to whom is […]

  • Simbang Gabi 2009 said:

    […] the rest of the Simbang Gabi readings, please see this page. Isaiah 53:1View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg LXX Hebrew1Who hath believed our report? and to whom is […]

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