O King whom all the peoples desire, you are the cornerstone which makes all one – O come and save man whom you made from the clay

Like the other O antiphons which we have sung during the past few days this antiphon is a cry from the heart to our Saviour to come to save us.
Today we address Him as King whom all peoples desire – yes we greatly desire Him because as St Augustine reminds: “He has made us for Himself and our hearts are restless until they rest in Him.”

Man is described as “made from clay” reminding us of our origins in the Book of Genesis – God shaped man from the soil of the ground and blew the breath of life into his nostrils and man became a living being. In some ancient cultures the king because of his royal office was referred to as an ‘image of God’ but the biblical writer tells us that every human being is a royal image of the living God.

However human beings had disfigured that image by wanting to be independent, to be God, refusing to be the fragile, yet beautiful creatures, moulded from the clay of the earth and held in God’s hand, breathing with His very breath.

The prophets – especially Isaiah and Jeremiah – constantly reminded Israel of its relationship to God as the clay to the potter – as the clay is in the potter’s hand –so you are in mine, house of Israel – but you would not listen.

Jesus is the one who restores in us the image of God be taking on our human nature. He makes all one by uniting us to Himself and drawing us into the heart of the Trinity as He prayed:

Father may they all be one just as you are in me and I am in Your so that they also may be one in us” (Jn 17)

And so we pray:

O King whom all the peoples desire, you are the cornerstone which makes all one – O come and save man whom you made from the clay