22 Dec 2016

Advent 2016 - O Antiphons - O Rex Gentium


O Rex Gentium, et desideratus earum, lapisque angularis, qui facis utraque unum: veni, et salva hominem, quem de limo formasti. 

O King of the Nations for whom they long, the corner-stone who makes of both one, come and deliver man whom you made from clay.



Isaiah had prophesied, “For a child is born to us, a son is given us; upon his shoulder dominion rests. They name him Wonder-Counsellor, God-Hero, Father-Forever, Prince of Peace.” (9:5), and “He shall judge between the nations, and impose terms on many peoples. They shall beat their swords into plough shares and their spears into pruning hooks; one nation shall not raise the sword against another, nor shall they train for war again.” (2:4)

The earlier antiphons have already alluded to the Messiah coming not only to Israel  but to convert the gentile nations and redeem them for his own. Now this sixth antiphon clearly addresses the saviour as the King of the Gentiles (Jer.10:7) and the Desired One of the nations.  The Messiah is the cornerstone on whom our spiritual foundations are laid, but on whom unbelievers stumble (Matt. 21:42).  This cornerstone unites and binds Jew and gentile into one, making peace between them.  The plea is that God save all humanity, all his creation that he formed from the dust of the earth (Gen.2:7).  We yearn for him once again to breathe the breath of his new life into us.

Previous years reflections on the O Antiphon:

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