Every Misa de Gallo (Dawn Mass), we are reminded by Jesus’ name: Emmanuel. God is with us. God is present in each of us. God is present in our world. The Philippines continues this tradition of coming to mass early in the morning for nine consecutive days. Some masses are as early as 4:00 AM when the rooster (Gallo) crows at sunrise, waking the farmers to begin their day worshipping the Lord.
Waking up early in the morning is excruciating for many people who are ‘night persons’ — those who are more active in the evenings. However, part of the novelty of the Misa de Gallo is the little sacrifice involved for a value that is much more important than ourselves, than our sleep. Parents do not mind waking up when their children cry in the middle of the night from a bad dream. For them, sleep is not as important as their child’s need.
The same thing with early morning mass: we wake up early because the Lord is more important to us. If we attend the dawn mass with our family: then the family is important to us. If we come to mass with our significant other: then God becomes the unifying factor of our relationship. A person who is willing to give up their own needs for another is a good person. This is the point of the first reading: God is good; in the Gospel, God’s goodness is His choice of being with us: as parents give their assuring presence to their children who had a bad dream, as family members who come together for mass, as lovers accompany each other in worship.
From yesterday’s message that God chooses sinners and insignificant persons to further His purpose, today we see that despite our sinfulness, we experience God in us. How? In the good acts people do. When we care for another: we manifest God’s care. When we love another; we manifest God’s love to them. When we improve our craft, our skills and our talents: we witness God’s greatness in us. The goodness in each of us, that goodness which constitute human nature, is the concrete proof that God resides in us. To recognize and seek the goodness in each of us is living out the truth of the Emmanuel.
Therefore, the Gospel challenges us to seek the goodness of people, and never be stuck with their negativities nor with their dark past. We Christians should be known for our charity.