Advent 2010

December 17 – First Friday in the octave leading up to Christmas

O antiphon*

O Wisdom, you come forth from the mouth of the Most High. You fill the universe and hold all things together in a strong and gentle manner. O come and teach us the way of truth

Thought for today

Fire placeBarbara and Sam stared into the red coals of their living room fire. They had been talking over a few family things, among them their daughter Michelle’s troubled marriage.  Michelle had asked her parents what to do about her husband’s gambling.  Barbara and Sam knew two things. Firstly, Michelle was not likely to do anything they told her to do, and secondly, they knew her husband David had a serious problem and they knew it wouldn’t go away over night.

“You’ll know what you have to do”, they said to Michelle. ‘If you think about things carefully, if you pray about where your faith is leading you, and if you try some worthwhile counselling, either together with David or on your own, a picture will begin to emerge. Besides, God won’t abandon you, and neither will we.’ Michelle was taken back at how wise her parents sounded and she even began to feel wise herself.  She went off and faithfully explored her life-path.

Scripture  

A shoot shall grow from the stock of Jesse, and a branch shall spring from his roots. The Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, a spirit of wisdom and understanding, a spirit of counsel and power, a spirit of knowledge and respect for the Lord
- Isaiah 11:1-2

Prayer

Gracious God, creator and redeemer of humanity, may the coming of your Son, born of the Virgin Mary, make your Church wise and the nations enlightened. We ask you this through Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Poetry extract 

God breathed,
and living man was given power
to scan, with perplexed rapture,
the completeness of creation ...
- From ‘Creation’ by Robin Gurr

Musical reflection

This selection is from ‘The Messiah’ by Georg Friedrich Händel, sung by Sarah MacLiver with the Cantillation Choir and the Orchestra of the Antipodes (lyrics below).

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

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