23 Dec 2015

Advent 2015 - O Emmanuel - December 23rd

O Emmanuel, our King and Law-giver, desired of the nations and their salvation, come and save us, Lord our God.
O Emmanuel, Rex et legifer noster, exspectatio gentium, et Salvator earum: veni ad salvandum nos Domine Deus noster.

“O Emmanuel, king and lawgiver, desire of the nations, Saviour of all people, come and set us free, Lord our God.” Isaiah had prophesied, “The Lord himself will give you this sign: the Virgin shall be with child, and bear a son, and shall name him Emmanuel.”(7:14). Remember “Emmanuel” means “God is with us.” 

Jesus Emmanuel has already come. 
It is not a matter now of Christ’s 
being where we are; it is a matter of 
our being in the consciousness of 
where Christ is in life and where He 
is not as well. Where is Christ for 
you? Is there a place in your life that 
you know down deep is not in the 
spirit of Christ at all?

— Joan D. Chittister, OSB

With this last antiphon our expectation finds joy now in the certainty of fulfilment.  We call Jesus by one of the most personal and intimate of his titles, Emmanuel, God-with-us.  We recall that in his birth from the Virgin Mary God takes on our very flesh and human nature: God coming nearer to us than we could have ever imagined!  Yet he is also to be exalted above us as our king, the lawgiver and judge, the one whom we honour and obey.  And he is our saviour, long-expected by all creation.  The final cry rises from us urgent in our need for daily salvation and forgiveness of our sins, and confident that our God will not withhold himself from us.   (c) 2000 Jeanne Kun

Reflections on the O Antiphon:

Wellspring reflections - O Immanuel 
Liturgy NZ - O Emmanuel
Blue Eyed Ennis - O Emmanuel


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