Today, we pray the third of the seven ‘O Antiphons’ leading up to the celebration of the fathomless mystery of the birth of Jesus among us over 2000 years ago:
O root of Jesse, set up a sign to the peoples, come to save us, and delay no more.
On the first of these seven days, the Church placed on our lips, the plea ‘come and teach us the way of truth’ – on the second day we are called upon to plead ‘come and save us with your outstretched arm (a truly beautiful concept ),  and now today, with still four more days to  go before Christmas Eve,  we are called to  echo the longing of the peoples over the ages, who suffered such anguish in their waiting for the Messiah – yes, we are called to this insistent prayer – ‘come and save us and delay no more.

This longing of the ages is expressed so well in one of the Advent hymns:

‘Long the ages rolled and slowly to the coming of the Word. 
 Fervent longings grew more fervent, undismayed by hopes deferred. 
Weaker spirits sighed and whispered, “Could the Lord of all forget?”
While the prophets scanned the portents, And in patience said, “Not yet”.
So how do we in this day and age, prepare for this great joy of Jesus birth among us which occurred over 2000 years ago?
In answer to this question , I would like to share a few thoughts from an article by one of our English Dominicans written many years ago.  He commences by quoting the Scripture text: 


“While all things were in quiet silence…thy almighty Word leapt down upon the earth”. 


Then he goes on to remind us “ In the stillness of the night, the mystery of Christmas was enacted.  In silence, lowliness and poverty, the Word of God came into the world.   This mystery shows us under what conditions a holy birth should take place in us and how we can have that union with God for which we long.   Not in noise, turmoil or worry can Christ be born in us.  Only when we lie low and listen to God’s will, can he be born in us.

The gift to give God is our nothingness, the gift God is waiting for us to offer him is the very wretchedness which humbles us.  The stable in us to which we should invite God to come, that place is like a slum which we run away from.  Where we are weakest, the things we fail in, where we are characteristically weak, where we commit faults week after week, this is the very stable to which we must invite him.

So often we strive to become better before we will invite God to come  to us, but we must let God come to the poor sinner that we are and not to be ashamed to let him come to our slum.
God will come – God will come –  God will come”.
“We will not have paid true homage to Christ unless we have a  crib in ourselves, the very thing which we think is an obstacle  to union with God is the very means by which we can come to him.  So let us bring him to that slum that inner crib, and it will  become a holy cell in which Christ can dwell. God loves us, so we need to have confidence to let his mercy and love come to us where we are weak and lowly, we must not run away, the most precious thing we have to give him is our weakness”.

These encouraging excerpts end here – and so we pray:           

O  root of Jesse, come to save us and delay no more.