The WORD in other words (2022) by Fr Arlo Yap SVD — Catholic Trade, Manila
December 19 / Octave before Christmas
Photo: St Michael the Archangel Parish Church, Irosin, Sorsogon (2019)
I am wondering why the Responsorial Psalm for today’s liturgy is: “My mouth shall be filled with your praise, and I will sing your glory!”
For the past couple of years, this expression has been part of the verbal culture among the young and the old: “Patay tayo dyan!” When feeling negative, embarrassed, and cornered, we say: “Patay tayo dyan!” But I thought of something positive, something encouraging, something about praising God. That is when I started saying: “Praise the Lord tayo dyan!” Today, this is an affirmation that my mouth should be filled with God’s praise.
In the first reading from the Book of Judges, an angel of the Lord appeared to the wife of Manoah, announcing to her that she will conceive and bear a son despite being barren. The angel of the Lord was using his mouth to proclaim the good news. Then the wife, using her mouth, too, told her husband about the angel’s message to her. After that, she bore a son and named him Samson.
In the Gospel today, the Angel Gabriel was sent by God to speak and announce to Zechariah the good news that Elizabeth, barren and old, would bear a son, and he would name him John. But Zechariah did not believe the angel. And his mouth was muted for nine months until the birth of John the Baptist. Then, his mouth was opened, and he praised God in his canticle.
The moral lesson is: when we receive the good news of God’s love through someone or directly from the word of God, we should believe that God’s promise will happen to us. And then, we share the good news with our family, relatives, and friends who are in need, troubled, and less fortunate. We use our mouths in praising God, and the Lord will bless us to fulfill his promise.
Today, December 19 (the fourth day of Simbang Gabi), is all about mouthing and proclaiming God’s love and blessings to others. Let us give them hope, share with them our joy and enlightenment, all for the glory of God. Then, each of us will declare: “My mouth shall be filled with your praise, and I will sing your glory!” Praise the Lord tayo dyan!