Here is the text of a reflection given by one of our sisters on today’s Magnificat Antiphon, which invokes Christ as Adonai and Leader.(If you prefer to listen, click the ‘play’ button in the box below). 

In early December 2006, in the United States, one family got lost and were stranded in the snow in a remote mountain area. The father and the mother of the family tried to do everything to survive and protect their 3 year old and 7 months daughters for a week without food and under extremely cold conditions. They even burnt their tyres to send the signal and warm them up, and had to honk the horn at night to chase off the black bears. After 7 days, the father finally decided to leave the car in order to find help for the family. Two days later, the mother and 2 children were found by a helicopter and rescued, but the father was found dead. However, this tragic story didn’t end there. When the recue team traced his footsteps while they were searching for him, they found out the heroic effort of this father who tried to get help for his family. He walked about 26 km in total, during 2 or 3 days in the rough, slippery, rugged, and steep mountain ravine, and dense forest areas. Even, the rescuers were amazed by how far he walked in the treacherous wilderness and under the severely difficult circumstances, and broke down in tears. He had not eaten properly for 7 days even before his departure, and it was very cold, and he was not equipped to walk the mountain areas, he was wearing his tennis shoes. They also found out that he even swam to get to the other side of the ravine at one point. They described his trek as a “superhuman” effort to save his family. I guess that his love for his family made it possible for him to go that far. Luckily, because of the last ping of the cell phone, the rescuers were able to narrow down the location of the car. But, I remember one report saying that the pilot of the helicopter found the human footsteps in the remote snowy area and he followed them back to the car and found the family. It was the father’s footsteps who had walked a long way which guided the helicopter to the rest of the family in the car. This poignant story has been imprinted in my memory and heart since then because it made me reflect on many aspects of human life. It reminds me of how far love can make a person go much further, beyond our imagination, and especially the story reminds me of how far our God has been walking to reach us through salvation history. This human father’s effort to save his family made me have a glimpse of our God’s sublime love for us and His unceasing effort to save us. Incarnation – how far our God has walked… The Creator is willing to be bound by time and space and human condition, in order to save the creatures! Today’s O Antiphon manifests that our God fulfils His promise completely through the Word made flesh.

“O Adoni and leader of Israel, you appeared to Moses in a burning bush, and you gave him the Law on Sinai. O Come and save us with your mighty power. Come, and redeem us with outstretched arms. Maranatha Come, Lord Jesus come.”

Moses went up Mount Sinai to meet God, but God comes down to us now. And God completes his name, too, as Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI said in one of his book,

“The God, who is, is the saving God, now present. The revelation of God’s name, which begins in the burning bush, comes to completion in Jesus.”

God spoke in the burning bush, but now he shows His face through His Son. Even the laws are complete. The new law is visibly shown by the Incarnate Word, and is carved on our heart, not on stone. What is our new commandment? It is no longer that we love our neighbour as ourselves, but we have to love each other as Jesus has loved us. What a challenging and noble commandment we have to fulfil! Finally, Jesus redeems us with His stretched arms on the Cross. His power is in His mercy and goodness. Although the theologians have talked and debated about the reasons and motives of the Incarnation, nobody knows why he chose this way in order to save us. Only God knows. However, I am sure of this. In order to save us, He chose the surest way to respect our free will and share his divine life on earth. He chose the best way to be with us in the mist of our darkness and suffering and to make an assurance of his presence for us. The following Korean poem shares this thought in a certain degree.

The following Korean poem by Lee, shares this thought on a human’s fundamental longing in the middle of suffering, in a certain degree, even though it was not written in a religious context.   
“To someone who is exposed to rain, a person who can walk with him is needed more than an umbrella. To someone who is crying, a heart upon which one can lean and cry is needed more than a handkerchief.  I realized this after I have met you.”    
We know that Jesus is that person. He is coming. We are going to hear his heart beat while we lean upon his heart. But, at least now, let us give him our humble, joyful and welcoming hearts. Let Our Blessed Mother lay Baby Jesus in our hearts as his cradle, giving him a place to rest after a long walk down to us since He will continue to walk with us in a long journey to the end. As psalmists say:

“Blessed are the people who know the festal shout, who walk, O Lord, in the light of thy countenance” ,

We too say in profoundly joyful praise,

“O Lord, our feast with you began, and we too walk towards the light of your face.”