O Emmanuel, our King and lawgiver – the nations are waiting for you their Saviour.
Come and save us Lord, our God.

In this final ‘O’ Antiphon we reach the climax when we address our Lord as Emmanuel, a name which means “God – is – with – us”.

In the following quotation from St. Augustine, he expresses what “God – with – us” means for us, in a way I never could:.

“For who is Christ unless that which ‘in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God’? This Word of God ‘became flesh and dwelt among us’: for in himself he was incapable of dying for us, unless he had assumed mortal flesh from us. In this way the immortal one was able to die, in this way he wished to give life to mortals; he would later make them sharers in himself, since he had first shared in what was theirs. For of ourselves we did not have the ability to live, as of himself he did not have the ability to die.

Accordingly he carried out a wonderful transaction with us through our mutual sharing: he died from what was ours, we will live from what is his.”

What joy and hope these words give us – was joy and hope ever so much needed as in our world today? We need a Saviour – the world is crying out for a Saviour whether it knows it or not. So in the words of our Antiphon we cry out with Mary who gave birth to Jesus, our Saviour:

“O Emmanuel, our King and lawgiver – the nations are waiting for you their Saviour. Come and save us Lord, our God”.