Advent 2009

December 21 – Monday in the octave leading up to Christmas

‘O’ Antiphon *

O Rising Sun, you are the splendour of eternal light and the sun of justice. O come and enlighten those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death.

Thought for today

Thomas was in hot water. There had been a brawl in the pub where he and his mates had gone for a few drinks the previous weekend.  In all the mayhem Tom went to the aid of a man he didn’t know but who was getting a severe beating. He was in the process of protecting this man when the police arrived, grabbed Tom and a half dozen others who were caught in the act, and all of them were thrown into the paddy-wagon.

Tom was charged at the station with affray, resisting arrest and some other charges. He was devastated and embarrassed for his wife and daughters. He had several meetings with his lawyer and with the police. After a scary time it finally clarified what Tom was doing when the police arrived. Charges were dropped. Relief was his first response, then some anger, especially that his integrity had been doubted. After the whole ordeal was put behind him he felt real joy, and was grateful for everything life had given him.

Scripture  

Shout for joy, daughter of Zion, Israel, shout aloud! Rejoice, exult with all your heart, daughter of Jerusalem! The Lord has repealed your sentence; he has driven your enemies away. The Lord, the king of Israel is in your midst; you have no more evil to fear
-Zephaniah 3:14-15

Prayer

Gracious God, you bless humanity by meeting us as much on our journey as in our final destination. You are the God who travels with us and everything is your work. May we know you and one another along life’s way so that we may remain alert and waiting for the coming of your Son. Amen

Poetry extract 

And his heart with happiness filled, and the light
Grew brighter upon his throne
And even to the farthest courts of Heaven
A clearer glory shone
- From “The Sabbath-Breakers” by William Gay

* The seven ‘O Antiphons’ (they each begin with ‘O’) are age-old songs that are part of the Catholic Church’s liturgy of Evening Prayer. Each evening, for Advent’s last eight days leading up to Christmas, one of the antiphons is sung. Each antiphon addresses Jesus with a unique title taken from Prophet Isaiah.