Advent 2009

December 22 – Tuesday in the octave leading up to Christmas

‘O’ Antiphon *

O King whom all the people desire, you are the cornerstone which makes all one. O come and save humanity whom you made from clay.

Thought for today:

Margaret grew up in a faith-filled family. She celebrated Mass each week at her local parish and she read as much about her faith as she could.  At university she belonged to a politics group and a justice group. She always had an awareness of those left behind in society and in her own way she tried to help. It was the Christian thing to do.

After graduation Margaret practiced law, especially immigration law. By that time she had drifted somewhat from her faith, but it was nothing more than drift.  However, after a couple of difficult cases in which she defended some asylum seekers, something happened inside her.  For the first time she felt the integral connection between being a follower of Jesus and the call to see justice done to the outsiders. She knew then she was following Jesus as an adult.

At the beginning of his Gospel Luke makes the point that Mary, who brought Jesus into the world, did so not only in a freely chosen response to God’s will but in a joyous acclamation that she was standing by the poor.  Luke puts on Mary’s lips the song of Hannah from the first book of Samuel (scripture text follows).

Scripture  

The Lord has shown the power of his arm, he has routed the proud of heart. He has pulled down princes from their thrones and exalted the lowly. The hungry he has filled with good things, the rich sent empty away. He has come to the help of Israel his servant, mindful of his mercy …
- Luke 1:51-54

Prayer

God our Father, you sent your Son to free humanity from dominating powers of every kind. May we, who celebrate the coming of Christ as a human being, also share more fully his divine life, for he lives and reigns with you for ever and ever. Amen.

Poetry extract 

Come! Let us dare those grim domains
Where Drought the Red Marauder reigns,
Until we find beyond the dawn
The little town where Christ was born.
O who will come with me today
To find the little town where Christ was born.
- From the Australian carol “The Little Town where Christ was Born” by John Wheeler

* 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.