There’s something notably touching about the story of Simeon, whom we are told was among the first in society to welcome the baby Jesus into the world.
Monthly Archives: December 2015
This time of year, the stars seem especially bright.
It’s almost as if the sky is clearer…and the heavens are closer to earth… than they are in the summertime.
Just a day or so left in Advent, and with one last chance to prepare our hearts for the great feast ahead, we hear from Malachi—the final prophet recorded in the Hebrew scriptures.
Our wait nearly over, our hearts are filled with joy as we pray the last of the O Antiphons:
O Emmanuel, our King, and Giver of Law:
come to save us, Lord our God!
Reminded that at the name of Jesus, every knee must bend…we acclaim the Lord’s coming as we pray the sixth O Antiphon:
O King of all nations and keystone of the Church:
come and save man, whom you formed from the dust!
Twice in two days, the Lectionary has given us the Visitation story from Luke’s gospel as our daily bread from scripture at Mass. So, what’s my response: to rush right through the all-too-familiar tale?
On this, the shortest day of the year (in the northern hemisphere), we look with longing to our true Light, as we pray the fifth of the O Antiphons in these final days of Advent:
O Radiant Dawn, splendor of eternal light, sun of justice:
come and shine on those who dwell in darkness
and in the shadow of death!
For those in prison…and for those imprisoned by any deadly sins in their lives…we look with hope and expectation toward Jesus, the Key of David…in the fourth O Antiphon that’s prayed during these final days of Advent:
O Key of David,
opening the gates of God’s eternal Kingdom:
come and free the prisoners of darkness!
The third ‘O Antiphon’ in these last days of Advent alludes to salvation history — the promises made to King David, his father Jesse…and all those before and after them who have been waiting (perhaps not so patiently) for their Savior:
O Root of Jesse’s stem,
sign of God’s love for all his people:
come to save us without delay!
The second ‘O Antiphon’ in these last days of Advent invokes Adonai, the Hebrew word for “Lord” or “Lord of Lords”:
O Adonai of ancient Israel,
who showed yourself to Moses in the burning bush,
who gave him the holy law on Sinai mountain:
Come, stretch out your mighty hand to set us free.