O King

O Rex Gentium – 22nd December 2015

 “O King and treasure of the nations,the cornerstone that makes the two into one;Come and save man whom you fashioned from dust.” We heard this morning from the Prophet Isaiah (during the Office of Readings) the following:Thus says the LORD God:“Behold, I will lift up my hand to the nations, and raise my signal to the peoples; and they shall bring your sons in their bosom, and your daughters shall be carried on their shoulders.Kings shall be your foster-fathers and their queens your nursing mothers.With their faces to the ground they shall bow down to you, and lick the dust of your feet.Then you will know that I am the LORD: those who wait for me shall not be put to shame.”(Is 49:22-23)It is difficult – never having shaken hands with one – to know what qualities one might expect a king to have – so that he might be approachable and command a certain allegiance and loyalty.  Kindness, perhaps? … and Knowledge?  Insight, maybe also Inspiration; Nobility; Graciousness.We all come into the world in the same way, whether we be high or low; kings or paupers – and in only a very short while now, we will celebrate the great day of JESUS’ birth, and it won’t be immediately obvious what He is – a king or a pauper?  Or both?Do we have eyes to see? Our “O” antiphon this evening speaks of JESUS as “the cornerstone that makes the two into one,” and it was these particular words “makes the two into one” which made the more perplexing impression: what two? … and two what?As with many of the “O” antiphons, it is very possible to give free reign […]

O Antiphons – 22nd December 2014

 A reflection given by one of our sisters on today’s Magnificat Antiphon, which addresses Christ as King. (If you prefer to listen, click the ‘play’ button in the box below). For an alternative audio player click here. “O King whom all the peoples desire, you are the cornerstone which makes all one. O come and save us whom you madefrom clay.”  In this sixth ‘O’ Antiphon the Incarnate Word is given the title of ‘King’, a title which appears very much in the psalms – for example psalm five: ‘To my words give ear O Lord, give heed to my groaning.Attend to the sound of my cries,my King and my God.”And our entrance Antiphon at Mass this morning from psalm 23 read:“O gates lift high your heads; grow higher, ancient doors.Let him enter, the King of glory.” Although he was the King desired by all the people of the Old Testament, and  those of the New Testament, we too have within us this same desire, this need, this longing to meet  God, to see Him face to face: “ It is your face O Lord that I seek, hide not your face” ( Psalm 26)St. Irenaeus’ famous saying :“ The glory of God is man fully alive and the glory of man is the vision of God “ – the second part of this sentence – the glory of man is the vision of God – is usually neglected and certainly has not been given worthy attention for we long and thirst for the vision of God. Perhaps it is only poetry, the poetry of the psalms that can express this desire adequately:“ O God you are my God, for you I long.For you my soul […]