- Thursday, 23 December 2010 10:48
O Emmanuel, Rex et legifer noster, exspectatio
Gentium, et Salvator earum: veni ad salvandum nos, Domine, Deus noster.
Emmanuel, God with us, our King and Lawgiver, the expected of the nations and
their Savior: Come to save us, O Lord our God (Is 7:14; 33:22).
All is fulfilled now in Jesus. In the previous days you would have noticed the Messiah as he was expected in the Scriptures. Today, we address Jesus with the title given by God, Emmanuel –“God with us.”
The promise of God the Father pitching His among us is known so clearly in the Incarnation of the Word. This antiphon is the climax of all expectations for a Savior who ushers in a new time in history where everything, everything is reversed (see the Prophet Isaiah). “The very term Emmanuel, God with us, reveals the kindly, human heart of Jesus –He wants to be one of us, a Child of man, with all our human weakness and suffering; He wants to experience how hard it is to be man. He wants to remain with us to the end, He wants to dwell within us, He wants to make us share His nature” (Pius Parsch). Come, Lord, Jesus.
- Wednesday, 22 December 2010 09:18
O Rex Gentium, et desideratus earum, lapisque
angularis, qui facis utraque unum: veni, et salva hominem, quem de limo
O King of the Gentiles and their desired One, the Cornerstone that
makes both one: Come, and deliver man, whom You formed out of the dust of the
earth (Is 9:7; 2;4; Ps 2:7-8, Eph 2:14-20).
Considering Pius Parsch’s reflections, “The antiphon should provoke enthusiasm for the conversion of pagans. Try to realize how ardently Christ desires that we carry the gospel to non-Catholics [and today even to Catholics poorly catechized]; to all of us, directly or indirectly, His apostolic commission is addressed. Each one of us can at least pray for the conversion of those still ignorant of Christ.”
In Jesus, the unity of believers, Jew and Gentile, is known. He’s spoken of as the cornerstone: the peacemaker where as Saint Paul said “There is neither Jew nor Greek; neither slave nor free person, there is neither male nor female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Gal 3:29).
- Monday, 20 December 2010 11:35
O Clavis David, et sceptrum domus Israel; qui aperis,
et nemo claudit; claudis, et nemo aperit: veni, et educ vinctum de domo
carceris, sedentem in tenebris, et umbra mortis.
O Key of David and Sceptre of
the House of Israel, who opens and no one can shut, who shuts and no one can open
(Is 22:22; Rev 3:7): Come and bring the prisoners forth from the prison cell, those
who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death (Is 42:7; Ps 106:13-14; Lk 1:9)
For Jews reading (hearing) this will notice that Jesus makes the claim that he is God, precisely for us, the Son of God, the Second Person of the Most Blessed Trinity. The image of the “Key of David” is a clear indication of God and His holy name. As Pius Parsch reminds us, “It should, then, be perfectly obvious that Christ is the “Key of David,” i.e., the One who opens all the secrets and mysteries of the Old Testament. The sceptre implies a true fullness of power over God’s kingdom.”
- Sunday, 19 December 2010 10:24
O Radix Jesse, qui stas in signum populorum, super
quem continebunt reges os suum, quem Gentes deprecabuntur: veni ad liberandum
nos, jam noli tardare.
O Root of Jesse (Ac 13:22-23), standing as a sign to the
peoples (Is 11:10), before whom kings shall shut their mouths (Is 52:15), and
whom the nations shall seek (1 Kings 10:24; 2 Chr 9:23): Come and deliver us and do
not delay (Hab 2:3; Rev 22:20)!
The prophet saw the rebuilding of a destroyed Israel and foretold a Messiah, a twig of hope from the line of David. As Pius Parsch said, “The bulk of the anitphon is devoted to a description of the kingdom. The small twig becomes the unifying principle about which the nations will gather like soldiers and citizens about their flag. With yearning the peoples will assemble around Him, will turn and acknowledge Him as Ruler. The Messiah’s glory will be so great that even kings will stand dumstruck in wonder and awe.”