DAILY MASS READINGS (December 23, 2019)

MONDAY OF THE 4TH WEEK OF ADVENT [LATE ADVENT WEEKDAYS]/8TH DAY OF THE CHRISTMAS NOVENA MASSES (CYCLE A, Violet/White)

Reading 1 (MALACHI 3:1-4, 23-24)

A reading from the Book of the Prophet Malachi

Thus says the Lord GOD:
Lo, I am sending my messenger
to prepare the way before me;
And suddenly there will come to the temple
the LORD whom you seek,1
And the messenger of the covenant whom you desire.
Yes, he is coming, says the LORD of hosts.
But who will endure the day of his coming?
And who can stand when he appears?
For he is like the refiner’s fire,
or like the fuller’s lye.
He will sit refining and purifying silver,
and he will purify the sons of Levi,
Refining them like gold or like silver
that they may offer due sacrifice to the LORD.
Then the sacrifice of Judah and Jerusalem
will please the LORD,
as in the days of old, as in years gone by.

Lo, I will send you
Elijah, the prophet,
Before the day of the LORD comes,
the great and terrible day,
To turn the hearts of the fathers to their children,
and the hearts of the children to their fathers,
Lest I come and strike
the land with doom.

– The word of the Lord.

Responsorial Psalm (PSALM 25:4-5AB, 8-9, 10 AND 14)

R.(see Luke 21:28)  Lift up your heads and see; your redemption is near at hand.
Your ways, O LORD, make known to me;
teach me your paths,
Guide me in your truth and teach me,
for you are God my savior.
R. Lift up your heads and see; your redemption is near at hand.
Good and upright is the LORD;
thus he shows sinners the way.
He guides the humble to justice,
he teaches the humble his way.
R. Lift up your heads and see; your redemption is near at hand.
All the paths of the LORD are kindness and constancy
toward those who keep his covenant and his decrees.
The friendship of the LORD is with those who fear him,
and his covenant, for their instruction.
R. Lift up your heads and see; your redemption is near at hand.

Alleluia

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
O King of all nations and keystone of the Church;
come and save man, whom you formed from the dust!
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel (LUKE 1:57-66)

A reading from the Holy Gospel according to Luke

When the time arrived for Elizabeth to have her child
she gave birth to a son.
Her neighbors and relatives heard
that the Lord had shown his great mercy toward her,
and they rejoiced with her.
When they came on the eighth day to circumcise the child,
they were going to call him Zechariah after his father,
but his mother said in reply,
“No. He will be called John.”
But they answered her,
“There is no one among your relatives who has this name.”
So they made signs, asking his father what he wished him to be called.
He asked for a tablet and wrote, “John is his name,”
and all were amazed.
Immediately his mouth was opened, his tongue freed,
and he spoke blessing God.
Then fear came upon all their neighbors,
 and all these matters were discussed
throughout the hill country of Judea.
All who heard these things took them to heart, saying,
“What, then, will this child be?
For surely the hand of the Lord was with him.”

– The Gospel of the Lord.

Reflection: Allow me to share to you this story, which may be familiar to you:
One day, during a class discussion…
Teacher: “Okay, class, pwede niyo bang ibahagi kung ano gusto ninyong maging kapag lumaki na kayo at bakit?”
George: “Gusto ko po maging isang doktor para po makapaglingkod sa kapwa.”
Steve: “Gusto ko po maging engineer, para po makapaglingkod sa kapwa.”
Antonio: “Gusto ko din po maging engineer katulad ni Steve, para din po makapaglingkod sa kapwa.”
Teacher: “Very good, class! Mabuting pagbabahagi!”
Then, she turned to the laziest one…
Teacher: “Oh ikaw naman, Juan, a.k.a. Juan Tamad, ano gusto mo maging kapag lumaki ka na at bakit?”
Juan: “Ma’am, gusto ko po maging kapwa, para ako po’y mapaglingkuran ng iba.” (Ngek) *facepalm*
My dear brothers and sisters, God has given each one of us a mission in life. Our duty is to fulfill these things responsibly and faithfully. This is how we should thank him for being merciful and gracious to us. In the Gospel (Luke 1:57-66), Elizabeth gives birth to Saint John the Baptist, the prophet who will fulfill his mission by preparing a people for the coming of the Christ. Zechariah writes the name because it is what the Lord wants, which was announced to him earlier by the Archangel Saint Gabriel. His unbelief turned into a belief, so he was able to speak and hear. Later on, he proclaims his Canticle of thanksgiving, which is not only a hymn of praise, but also prophetic prayer of God’s fulfilled promises in Jesus Christ.
The name “John” came from the Hebrew term ‘Yohanan,’ which means “God is gracious.” Truly, the Lord is gracious to all of us, and it never ends. That’s why he gave us the greatest gift of all, his Only Begotten Son, who came to teach us the way of loving, and suffered, died, and rose again to redeem us out of love. Although Christ is not with us anymore, yet, we should honor his work on earth, which is also honoring the Father’s plan of salvation for humanity. And one way is to prepare for the celebration of his Incarnation on Christmas Day.
As we mark the end of this Advent road, let us show our appreciation for God’s graciousness by fulfilling the life missions he gave us. Let us not belittle others, but instead, do good things to them and continue teaching them the right way to live. May we heed the call of Saint John the Baptist, especially as this wonderful time of the year draws near: “Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths” (Luke 3:4).

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