3rd day of Simbanggabi (December 18)

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Gospel Reading

Mat 1:18-24

18Now the birth of Jesus the Messiah took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been engaged to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. 19Her husband Joseph, being a righteous man and unwilling to expose her to public disgrace, planned to dismiss her quietly.  20But just when he had resolved to do this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21She will bear a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” 22All this took place to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet:  23“Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel,” which means, “God is with us.” 24When Joseph awoke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him; he took her as his wife.

General Observations on the Text  

The Matthean Literary Context

In verse 16 of the previous literary unit, Matthew hinted to his readers the unnaturalness of the birth of Jesus.  Matthew did not use the expected x is the father of y formula or Joseph is the father of Jesus.  Thus, for Matthew, Jesus was not born in the same manner that the other members of his ancestry were born (cf. Dec 17 commentary).  In this gospel pericope (vv.18-25) Matthew is set to explain how the supra-natural circumstances surrounding Jesus’ birth happened.

In this pericope, Joseph is the central image or the main character in the narrative.  It is his struggle, his dream, his decision as well as his acceptance of a role in life he never thought of.

Will the Real Joseph Stand?

Joseph had his own personal plans and visions in his life.  He, like any other ordinary Jew, planned to have his own family, probably, with a good number of children, the sons of which will be heirs of his trade–carpentry, his righteousness and everything that he is.  All these he envisioned having Mary as his lifetime partner.  Mary, is already reserved for him, they were engaged. The whole Jewish society considered them to be legally married.  What was just lacking for the realization of his personal plans was the final rite of the Jewish matrimony–the procession, in which he will fetch Mary from her father’s house and bring her to his own.  When was this final rite to occur, we are not told, but surely Joseph was looking forward with eagerness to the beginning of his new life with Mary as his wife.

Suddenly, things changed, all his plans were held in abeyance.  Mary, her legal wife, was discovered to be pregnant.  Whatever were the circumstances surrounding the unexpected pregnancy of Mary – there are provisions in the Torah (Deut 22:23-27):

  1. 23If there is a young woman, a virgin already engaged to be married, and a man meets her in the town and lies with her, 24you shall bring both of them to the gate of that town and stone them to death, the young woman because she did not cry for help in the town and the man because he violated his neighbor’s wife.  You shall purge the evil from your midst.
  1. But if the man meets the engaged woman in the open country, and the man seizes her and lies with her, then only the man who lay with her shall die; you shall not do anything to the young woman, the young woman has not committed an offense punishable by death, because this case is like that of somebody who attacks and murders a neighbor.  Since, he found her in the open country, the engaged woman may have cried for help but there was no one to rescue her.

Joseph was a righteous Jew.  He had to follow the prescriptions of the Torah–to divorce Mary because she was already defiled. At its worst, he could have exposed her to the torah’s stiffest prescriptions with the probability of her being stoned to death. However, there was something different in Joseph’s righteousness in relation to the law–it was tempered with mercy “not wishing to expose her to the law decided to set her free secretly”  (v.19).

The Divine Plan

Beyond Joseph’s personal plans, was an unknown divine intention.  He was to be part of God’s greatest design and gracious desire to re-claim humanity through Jesus Christ.  And this was revealed to him in a dream.  He was asked by God if it were possible for him let go of his dreams, his personal plans and say yes to God’s proposal–not to fear and, to take Mary as his wife, despite her seeming unworthiness, for even Mary is part of God’s design.

The Joseph of the Gospel

The silence of Joseph is astounding.  There is no word heard from him.    However, his silence is not apathetic; it is neither non-committal, nor non involvement; it is not a silence characterized by the mere absence of words and emptiness of content.  In the most sacred of all silences, Joseph realized that his personal plans and dreams were no match to God’s grand design for him:  God made him realize his royal Davidic descent–Joseph, son of David (v.21); God commissioned him to give a name to his would be son-–a name which determines his son’s destiny Jesus, the one to save the people from their sin (v.21).  All these are not a product of an overnight change of the mind of God–these were forecasted long ago by the prophet Isaiah:

A virgin shall conceive a child and bear a son,

and his name shall be called Immanuel.

In silence Joseph had to make his personal decision, he is challenged to take a role more than he thought of, he is to let go of his own dreams and visions and take a road paved for him by God.  And this he did – Awaking from sleep, he did what the angel of the Lord commanded him…(v.24).

 

Points for Homily

1.  The silence of Joseph is made manifest in his obedience to God, letting go of what is so personal and accepting God’s challenge that effect greater good for others.

2.  God has always the best reserved plan for each and everyone of us.  One needs to discover God’s will for him and one simply has to be courageous to accept God’s challenge.  He who accepts God’s challenge achieves the greatest joy, highest contentment and authentic happiness.

Fr.’der, oar

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Frei Bo

Frei Bo

Priest-Religious of the Order of Augustinian Recollects, Province of St. Ezekiel Moreno. Webmaster.

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< 2023 >
February
SMTuWThFS
   1
  • All day
    February 1, 2023

    APOSTOLIC JOURNEY TO CONGO-KINSHASA
    (January 31 – February 3)

    DAY 2: KINSHASA
    9:30      HOLY MASS at “Ndolo” Airport
    16:30   MEETING WITH VICTIMS FROM THE EASTERN PART OF THE COUNTRY at the Apostolic Nunciature
    18:30   MEETING WITH REPRESENTATIVES FROM SOME CHARITIES at the Apostolic Nunciature

    BIRTHDAY

    Bro. Ramon Monroy, SAR (Provincialate Chapter)
    Sis. Yolanda Zaragoza, SAR (Antipolo Chapter)
    Sis. Ma. Corazon Timones, SAR (Puerto Princesa Chapter)
    Sis. Emma Miguel, SAR (Brooke’s Point Chapter)
    Sis. Brigida Gabriel, SAR (Tondo Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sis. Rizalina Salera, SAR (Cavite Chapter)
    +Sis. Dorotea Sarmiento, SAR (Cebu Chapter)

2
  • All day
    February 2, 2023

    FEAST OF THE PRESENTATION OF THE LORD (CANDELARIA)

    APOSTOLIC JOURNEY TO CONGO-KINSHASA

    DAY 3: KINSHASA
    09:30   MEETING WITH YOUNG PEOPLE AND CATECHISTS in Martyrs’ Stadium
    16:30   PRAYER MEETING WITH PRIESTS, DEACONS, CONSECRATED PERSONS AND SEMINARIANS in the Cathedral “Notre Dame du Congo”
    18:30   PRIVATE MEETING WITH MEMBERS OF THE SOCIETY OF JESUS at the Apostolic Nunciature

    27th WORLD DAY FOR CONSECRATED LIFE PATRONAL FIESTA
    OF OUR LADY OF SIERRA LEONE PARISH (Kamabai) Time: 1100H (Sierra Leone)
    Presider & Homilist: Most Rev. Natale Paganelli S.X.

    BIRTHDAY

    Sr. Ma. Petra Pascual, AR
    Sis. Josephine Bangura (Trialer / Kamalo Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Socorro Japson, AR

3
  • All day
    February 3, 2023

    APOSTOLIC JOURNEY TO CONGO-KINSHASA THEN TO SOUTH SUDAN

    DAY 4: KINSHASA / DAY 1: JUBA

    8:30     MEETING WITH BISHOPS at CENCO
    10:10   FAREWELL CEREMONY at Kinshasa “Ndjili” International Airport
    0:40     Departure by airplane from Kinshasa “Ndjili” International Airport to Juba

    The Holy Father is making the Journey to South Sudan together with the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland

    15:00   Arrival at Juba International Airport
    15:00   WELCOME CEREMONY
    15:45   COURTESY VISIT TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC at the Presidential Palace
    16:15   MEETING WITH THE VICE-PRESIDENTS OF THE REPUBLIC
    17:00   MEETING WITH AUTHORITIES, CIVIL SOCIETY AND THE DIPLOMATIC CORPS in the garden of the Presidential Palace

    BIRTHDAY

    Fray Ceferino Roberto Añez
    Sis. Celerina Santos, SAR (Provincialate Chapter)
    Sis. Celerina Jaurequi, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    Sis. Marilyn Miraña, SAR (Antipolo Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Filomena de Jesus

4
  • All day
    February 4, 2023

    APOSTOLIC JOURNEY TO SOUTH SUDAN

    DAY 2: JUBA

    9:00      MEETING WITH BISHOPS, PRIESTS, DEACONS, CONSECRATED PERSONS AND SEMINARIANS in the Cathedral of Saint Therese
    1:00       PRIVATE MEETING WITH MEMBERS OF THE SOCIETY OF JESUS at the Apostolic Nunciature
    16:30     MEETING WITH INTERNALLY DISPLACED PERSONS in the “Freedom Hall”
    18:00    ECUMENICAL PRAYER at “John Garang” Mausoleum

    INTERNATIONAL DAY OF HUMAN FRATERNITY

    PRAYER INTENTION: FOR VOCATIONS

    BIRTHDAY

    FRAY BERNARD AMPARADO, Prior Provincial
    Sr. Jannet Nicer, AR
    Sis. Erlinda Dionela, SAR (Manila Chapter)
    Sis. Diana Concepcion, SAR (Bacolod Chapter)

5
  • All day
    February 5, 2023

    APOSTOLIC JOURNEY TO SOUTH SUDAN

    DAY 3: JUBA – ROME

    08:45    HOLY MASS at “John Garang” Mausoleum
    11:00    FAREWELL CEREMONY at Juba International Airport
    11:30    Departure by airplane from Juba International Airport to Rome
    17:30    Arrival at Rome Fiumicino International Airport

    36th FOUNDING ANNIVERSARY (1987-2023)
    OUR LADY OF CONSOLATION PARISH, Miranila, Quezon City
    Time: 1100H
    Presider & Homilist: Prior Provincial

    BIRTHDAY

    Fray James Castelo
    Fray Jovy Gallego
    Sr. Anselma Millan, AR
    Sis. Purificacion Rallos, SAR (Laray Chapter)
    Trina Genicet Zamora (RAY-Valencia)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sis. Ofelia Cruz, SAR (Provincialate Chapter)
    +Sis. Rosario Manese, SAR (Miranila Chapter)

6
  • All day
    February 6, 2023

    GENERALATE: MEETING OF THE DIGITAL EVANGELIZATION TEAM (ONLINE)

    BIRTHDAY

    Fray Ronel Gealon
    Mo. Ma. Emilia Gaspillo, AR
    Sr. Doraine Suyko, AR
    Sis. Marlin Regalado, SAR (Provincialate Chapter)
    Sis. Dorothy Joy Balcueva, SAR (Baguio Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Fray Alberto Avanzado

7
  • All day
    February 7, 2023

    BIRTHDAY

    Fray Jess Marco Sanchez
    Br. Christian Peralta (postulant)
    Sr. Ma. Lina Gonzaga, AR
    Sr. Gewena Gay Villarubia, AR
    Sis. Jaena Lascano, SAR (Antipolo Chapter)
    Cecile Pedregosa (RAY-Urbiztondo)

8
  • All day
    February 8, 2023

    9th INTERNATIONAL DAY OF PRAYER AND AWARENESS AGAINST HUMAN TRAFFICKING

    BIRTHDAY

    Sr. Elflida Palma, AR
    Sis. Lydia Morales, SAR (Provincialate Chapter)
    Sis. Crestita Pabon, SAR (Talisay Chapter)
    Sis. Lourdes Cajes, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    Sis. Ruth Gonzales, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    Sis. Anita Miranda, SAR (Cebu Chapter)

9
  • All day
    February 9, 2023

    BIRTHDAY

    Fray Elpedio Sarita, Jr.
    Br. Kirvie Bodiongan (aspirant)
    Bro. Romeo Reyes, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    Sis. Florentina Alambra, SAR (Baguio Chapter)
    Sis. Teresita Torrecampo, SAR (Talisay Chapter)

10
  • All day
    February 10, 2023

    24th INAUGURATION ANNIVERSARY (1999-2023) OF THE PROVINCE OF ST. EZEKIEL MORENO

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sis. Virginia Toledo, SAR (Antipolo Chapter)

11
  • All day
    February 11, 2023

    OUR LADY OF LOURDES

    31st WORLD DAY OF THE SICK Theme: “Take care of him” (Lk 10:35) / Compassion as a synodal exercise of healing

    PATRONAL FIESTA OF OUR LADY OF LOURDES QUASI-PARISH
    Brgy. Tambo, Ayungon, Negros Oriental
    Time: 1000H
    Presider & Homilist: Prior Provincial

    CHARTER DAY OF TALISAY CITY, NEGROS OCCIDENTAL

    CLOSING OF RED EDUCAR 2023 MEETING
    Venue: Colegio de San Agustin, Costa del Este, Panama
    Date: Jan 20 – Feb. 11, 2023

    GENERALATE: AUGUSTINIAN CLASSROOM OF EDUCATION (MADRID)
    Date: Feb. 11-12, 2023

    BIRTHDAY

    Sr. Filomena Oliva, AR
    Sr. Marisa Dacuya, AR
    Sis. Edelyn Celeste, SAR (San Carlos Chapter)

    PRESBYTERAL ANNIVERSARY
    (2017-2023)

    Fray Roweno Eugenio Hamo
    Fray Sir Michael Dineros
    Fray John Paul Tanquis

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sis. Romana Caballero, SAR (Cebu Chapter)

12
  • All day
    February 12, 2023

    BIRTHDAY

    Heart Danielle Nakila (RAY-Balamban)
    Sis. Moonyen Llorca, SAR (Talisay Chapter)
    Sis. Lourdes Bonifacio, SAR (Tondo Chapter)

13
  • All day
    February 13, 2023

    INSTALLATION OF FRAY JULIUS JAMES TINAPAO AS PRIEST IN-CHARGE OF ST. EZEKIEL MORENO
    QUASI- PARISH, CAIDIOCAN

    BIRTHDAY

    Sis. Erlinda Vergara, SAR (Tondo Chapter)
    Sis. Catalina Matahum, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    Sis. Victoria Maniago, SAR (Manila Chapter)

     

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Bro. Pedro Magalit, SAR (Miranila Chapter)

14
  • All day
    February 14, 2023

    BIRTHDAY

    Sis. Filomena Duro, SAR (Provincialate Chapter)
    Sis. Mena Quiambao, SAR (Provincialate Chapter)
    Sis. Serena Principio, SAR (Miranila Chapter)
    Sis. Ma. Era Santos, SAR (Miranila Chapter)
    Sis. Lucresia Samson, SAR (Talisay Chapter)
    Sis. Josephine Palanca, SAR (Puerto Princesa Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Mary Grace Escayo, OAR (Bacolod Monastery)
    +Sis. Teresita Labos, SAR (Cebu Chapter)

15
  • All day
    February 15, 2023

    BIRTHDAY

    Sr. Maria Aurora Baygan, AR
    Bro. Julius Cayabyab, SAR (Puerto Princesa Chapter)

16
  • All day
    February 16, 2023

    FORMATION OF FORMATORS
    (Part 1: Feb. 16-18, 2023)

    GENERALATE: GENERAL COUNCIL MEETING (ROME)
    Date: Feb. 16-17, 2023

    BIRTHDAY

    Sr. Porferia Tundag, AR
    Sis. Herminia Villanueva, SAR (San Carlos Chapter)
    Sis. Ma. Cecilia Cabildo, SAR (Miranila Chapter)

17
  • All day
    February 17, 2023

    5th ANNIVERSARY OF THE ARRIVAL OF PIONEER RECOLETOS MISSIONARIES IN CUBA

    GENERALATE:  ONLINE MEETING OF THE GENERAL TREASURER WITH THE PROVINCIAL TREASURERS

    BIRTHDAY

    Fray Virgilio Paredes, Jr.
    Sis. Lourdes Tupaz, SAR (Provincialate Chapter)
    Sis. Albina Panelo, SAR (Baguio Chapter)
    Sis. Femesolone Gamboa, SAR (Talisay Chapter)
    Sis. Segundina Valderama, SAR (Cebu Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sis. Helen Villarin, SAR (Valencia Chapter)

18
  • All day
    February 18, 2023

    BIRTHDAY

    Fray Jerik Troy Siozon
    Fray Mark Saludes
    Sis. Erlinda Torrecampo, SAR (Talisay Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Fray Walthrode Conde, OAR
    +Sr. Genoveva del Sgdo. Corazon de Jesus, AR
    +Sis. Estrella Montes, SAR (Manila Chapter)

19
  • All day
    February 19, 2023

    PRAYER INTENTION: FOR THE SICK

    BIRTHDAY

    Fray Dunstan Huberto Decena
    Bro. Gavino Bucao, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    Sis. Remedios Laguisma (Brooke’s Point Chapter)

    ANNIVERSARY OF PRESBYTERAL ORDINATION
    (2003-2023)

    Most. Rev. Patricio Buzon, SDB, D.D. (Bishop of Bacolod)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Pia de San Sebastian
    +Sr. Josefina Disen, AR

20
  • All day
    February 20, 2023

    BIRTHDAY

    Fray Joseph Neil Baygan (simply prof.)
    Sis. Reba Pacres, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    Mary Rose Capulong (RAY-Urbiztondo)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Ines de Padua, AR

21
  • All day
    February 21, 2023

    BIRTHDAY

    Fray Nimrod Launio
    Sis. Betty Sinon, SAR (Miranila Chapter)
    Sis. Emily Vallejo, SAR (Antipolo Chapter)
    Sis. Ma. Lourdes Bonete, SAR (Puerto Princesa Chapter)
    Sis. Josefina Buletic, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    Sis. Fernanda Kintanar, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    Sis. Nellie Cabutotan (Trialer / Baguio Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Aniceta de la Santisima Trinidad, AR
    +Bro. Luis Clauor Jr., SAR (Bacolod Chapter)

22
  • All day
    February 22, 2023

    SEASON OF LENT STARTS: ASH WEDNESDAY

    BIRTHDAY

    Br. Jay-R Vailoces (aspirant)
    Sr. Ma. Flora Silverio, AR
    Sis. Emiline Navera, SAR (Provincialate Chapter)
    Sis. Margarita Gamboa, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    Sis. Soledad Baraya, SAR (Cebu Chapter)

23
  • All day
    February 23, 2023

    FORMATION OF FORMATORS
    (Part 2: Feb. 23-25, 2023)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Ana Maria Rosello, AR
    +Sr. Exaltacion Lagrimas, AR

24
  • All day
    February 24, 2023

    CHARTER DAY OF CEBU CITY

    ANNIVERSARY (2022-2023) OF ACCEPTANCE AS
    BROTHER-GENERAL OF THE PROVINCE OF ST. EZEKIEL
    MORENO

    Prof. Emmanuel Luis Romanillos
    Bro. Edwin Ruiz, SAR

    BIRTHDAY

    Fray Rommel Rubia
    Sis. Ma. Magdalena Ramos, SAR (San Carlos Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Jesusa de Vera, AR+Sis. Fedelina Escalante, SAR (Cebu Chapter)

25
  • All day
    February 25, 2023

    37th EDSA PEOPLE POWER (1986-2023)

    BIRTHDAY

    Sr. Roselyn Jardenil, AR
    Sis. Edna Mariano, SAR (Tondo Chapter)
    Adrian Gonzales (RAY-Talisay)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Wenifreda Sajorda, AR

26
  • All day
    February 26, 2023

    FIRST SUNDAY OF LENT

    BIRTHDAY

    Fray Julius James Tinapao
    Br. Ren Hard Rodriguez (aspirant)
    Sis. Gloria Gaviola, SAR (Cebu Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Fray Severino Cuesta (2000-2023)
    +Sr. Teresa Constantino, AR
    +Sis. Lilia Lepasana, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    +Sis. Anita Paloma, SAR (San Carlos Chapter)

27
  • All day
    February 27, 2023

    GENERALATE: SPIRITUAL EXERCISES (MONTEAGUDO)
    Date: Feb. 27-March 2, 2023

    BIRTHDAY

    Sr. Teresita Caberte, AR
    Sis. Clarita Cortez, SAR (Antipolo Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sis. Casimera Griarte, SAR (Provincialate Chapter

28
  • All day
    February 28, 2023

    PRAYER INTENTION: FOR THE MISSIONS

    MEETING OF THE PROVINCIAL PROCURATOR WITH THE LOCAL PROCURATORS
    Talavera House of Prayer, Cebu City / Feb. 28 – March 1

    BIRTHDAY

    Sr. Ma. Crisanta Armendez, AR
    Bro. Fulgencio Culaton, SAR (Baguio Chapter / Brother-General of the Order)
    Sis. Macaria Decena, SAR (Manila Chapter) Sis. Maria Semine, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    Sis. Perlita Narag (Urbiztondo Chapter) Sis. Emma Basul (Miranila Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Milagros de San Nicolas de Tolentino
    +Sis. Estrella Montes, SAR (Manila Chapter)
    +Sis. Maria Torralba, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    +Bro. Waltrudes Torres, SAR (Cebu Chapter)

    

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