A reflection given by one of our sisters on today’s Magnificat Antiphon, which addresses Christ as Emmanuel – God with us. (To listen, click the ‘play’ button in the box below). For an alternative audio player click here. O Emmanuel  Today we have come to the 7th and final ‘O’ Antiphon – the climax of them all.“O Emmanuel, King and Lawgiver, desire of the nations; Saviour of all peoples: come and set us free, Lord our God.” Or“O Emmanuel, You are our King and Judge; the One whom the peoples await and their Saviour.   O come, save us, Lord, our God,”In it, the Messiah is addressed in person and is asked to remain with us as Emmanuel.This – the last – is appointed for the day before Christmas Eve, when we are about to celebrate the coming of God to earth in human flesh.Since this is the last and climax of the antiphons, “O Emmanuel” repeats phrases and ideas which have occurred previously, in particular ‘King’ and ‘Lawgiver’.  These two words are significant as they indicate the great difference between us and God; the vast gap between Creator and creature; Ruler and ruled.  ‘Lawgiver’ occurs in the other antiphon with a Hebrew title, “O Adonai”, which means Lord and is also a reverent way of indicating, without uttering, the Divine Name.The word ‘Emmanuel’ occurs only three times in the Bible: in Is 7:14; 8:8; and Mt 1:23, but the idea it expresses is found in practically every book.  “The Lord is with you” … “The Lord will be with you” … The basic meaning of ‘God with us’ is that God acts on our behalf.  In Jdg, “The Lord is with you, mighty man […]