O Anthphons

O King – 22nd December

“O King,whom all the peoples desire,you are the cornerstone which makes all one.O come, and save manwhom you made from clay.”In today’s antiphon we address Christ as “King” the desire of “all the peoples.” Reflecting on this Antiphon, I wonder to what extent Christ is truly “king”  in my life. Is he “the cornerstone” of all I do and say?Do my thoughts and decisions take account of his will for me at this moment, even if only by, as Frank Duff advises, glancing towards him and asking internally “what do you want me to do?” before making decisions.This kingship in an individual’s life is very important because we are all members of the mystical body of Christ. Just as the holiness of one member benefits other members and the whole Church (CCC 1474-5), so also Christ’s kingship in my life is of benefit to and helps the growth of his universal kinship for the salvation of all human beings.May God grant each of us the grace to welcome him this Christmas as “King”  and “cornerstone”  of our lives.

O key of David – 20th December 2015

O key of David and sceptre of Israel, what you open no else can close again; what you close no one can open. O come to lead the captive from prison; free those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death.Jesus in his own body has opened the door to salvation. He is the door. He is the way into the Kingdom, into the very heart of the Trinity. “I am the door ; if anyone enters through Me , he will be saved.”It would be difficult to reflect upon this antiphon this advent, without making a connection to the Jubilee Year and the significance of the Holy Door of Mercy being opened in every diocese in the world. Pope Francis in various homilies has this to say: “As Christians we are called to cross the threshold of the door of mercy. We are asked to welcome and experience God’s love which recreates, transforms and renews life. From this experience we must go out and be instruments of mercy. God is anxious to be merciful and to welcome everyone into the tender embrace of reconciliation and forgiveness. “A major aspect of the Holy Year throughout history has been that of a pilgrimage to Rome to make reparation for sin and to renew the conversion of one’s life. As in today’s antiphon the prayer of the pilgrim, and each of us are pilgrims, could be ‘ O come to lead the captive from prison, free those who live in darkness and the shadow of death.’  Show us your mercy O lord, remember your Holy Covenant sealed in the blood of your Son on the Cross . A very important symbolic act performed […]

O Radix Jesse – 19th December 2015

 “O Root of Jessewho stand for a sign for the people;before whom kings are silent;whom the nations bessech:Come to deliver us, no longer delay.”  Jesse was the father of David and JESUS is the Son of David.When Jesus was on His missionary travels and one day came to Jericho, a blind man – who heard that is was Jesus, the great healer – called out, “Son of David, have pity on me!” (cf Mk 10:46ff)Jesus called him, and restored his sight immediately.There are a few other Gospel passages where people looking for healing call out to Him as “Son of David.”God’s promise to David was that his descendants would occupy the throne till the Promised One would come.  The angel Gabriel said to Mary, “The Lord God will give Him the throne of His ancestor, David.” (Lk 1:32)     In the antiphon we hear: “… before whom kings are silent and the nations beseesch.” He was not recognised by the ‘kings,’ by the people in authority: but the poor and needy people came to Him.  Those in authority should have known Him, for they knew their Scripture better than the common folk: Isaiah says (11:2): “And the Spirit of the Lordshall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.”  The miracles He worked should have pointed Him out as the Promised Messiah.There is a beautiful passage at the end of the Apocalypse, where Jesus identifies Himself thus: “I am the root and the offspring of David,the bright morning star.” (22:16)He doesn’t say, “I am the Son of God,” or “I am the second Person of the […]

O Antiphons – O Wisdom – 17th December 2105

Today we start our traditional Novena before Christmas with the’ Great O Antiphons’. May this prayer help us to enter into the wide opened Door of God’s Mercy, and to be real witnesses of God’s presence among us, not only by the preaching of the glad things of His coming but above all by revealing Him in our lives.                                 O SAPIENTIAO Wisdom you come fort from the mouth of the Most High, You fill the universe and hold all things together in a strong yet gentle manner. O comes to teach us the way of truth. Maranatha. Come, Lord Jesus come. O Wisdom My previous relation with Wisdom was always cold and very weak. It mostly meant for me something very high, big, and far away – not useful for ordinary daily life or prayer. But preparing this reflection she placed her arms on me, and I heard her strong yet gentle heartbeat.There was once a Jewish boy, who resisted learning the Torah. To his parents, nothing could have been more distressing .When the Chief Rabbi came to visit their home, the parents expressed to him their concern about their son. The Rabbi asked permission to place his arms around the boy. The parents agreed, moving aside. They watched and waited, expecting to hear some of advice from the Rabbi to the boy. But the only word they heard was silence, as they watched their son rest close to the Rabbi’s heart.The next day the boy began to study the Torah. His passion for God’s word grew. Years later he himself became a wise and loving Rabbi. Many asked him whence his knowledge came. He simply said, ’’I put my ear close to […]