O Wisdom

A Reflection on the ‘O Antiphon’ for the 17th of December

“O Wisdom,

You come forth from the mouth of the Most High.

You fill the universe

and hold all things together

in a strong yet gentle manner.

O come to teach us the way of truth.”


Today we will sing the first of the ‘O Antiphons’; the beautiful Magnificat Antiphons for the final days of preparation for the coming of Christ at Christmas. These Antiphons address Christ by various titles/attributes and beseech him to ‘Come’.


This first Antiphon addresses Christ as ‘Wisdom’. It is a wonderful thing to recognise that Christ is Wisdom and to remember that “the wisdom which comes from above is marked chiefly indeed by its purity, but also by its peacefulness; it is courteous and ready to be convinced, always taking the better part; it carries mercy with it, and a harvest of all that is good; it is uncensorious and without affectation” (Jas 3:17-18).


Our world desperately needs such wisdom; not intelligence, or cleverness, or great knowledge about many things, but wisdom – the ability to know and recognise God’s purpose and plan (both for ourselves and for the rest of creation) and to act in accord with that. In other words, the ability to recognise and do what is right. This might seem too difficult and demanding, until we remember that, by the grace of Baptism we have become members of Christ and Christ is, therefore, “our wisdom, our righteousness and sanctification and redemption” (1Cor 1:30).


The Great ‘O Antiphons – O Wisdom – 17th Dec

O Wisdom, you come forth from the mouth of the Most High.  You fill the universe and hold all things together in a strong yet gentle manner.  O come to teach us the way of truth.We are immediately reminded of the wonderful passages in the Old Testament which speak of Wisdom.  There we read of Wisdom as proceeding from God, as being begotten by Him, as being the beloved who at the beginning stood beside Him, assisting at the creation – ‘ever at play in His presence and delighting to be with the children of men.’These passages concerning Wisdom can be applied to the Word who in the fullness of time took on our human nature and pitched his tent among us.While in the Old Testament God’s Wisdom was manifested by His governance of the created universe in a strong yet gentle manner, being lenient and merciful to all because He loves all that exists – it is in the crucified Christ on the Cross that we experience the full revelation of divine Wisdom, of God’s infinite love and mercy for us human beings.  As St Paul tells us “God’s folly is wiser than human wisdom and God’s weakness is stronger than human strength.  In Christ are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge and of his fullness we have all received.  He has become our wisdom and our holiness.” (1 Corinthians)O Eternal wisdom come and teach us the way of truth – He is Truth itself who leads us to all Truth – the truth about ourselves, about our world, about situations in which we find ourselves.In spite of whatever pain and contradictions we experience in our own lives and in our […]

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 […]