Although the Novena for Christmas began yesterday, according to the liturgy the immediate preparation for Christmas begins today the 17th December.

The Daily Office begins with the invitatory antiphon: “The Lord is at hand: come let us adore Him” which is re-echoes in the Benedictus antiphon: “Know that the kingdom of God is at hand; be sure that he will not delay”

At Vespers today and during the coming days we sing the great ‘O Antiphons’ – each antiphon begins by addressing Christ the Word Incarnate by a messianic title – remembering God’s presence and promises throughout the Old Testament the Church prays that He may come to save His people now. In our community we usually sing these antiphons in Gregorian chant as the music expresses very beautifully the prayer and cry of the human heart to its Creator.

We hope to post here a short reflection on each of these ‘O Antiphons’ in the coming days.

O WISDOM

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 and 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.

O Eternal Wisdom come and teach us the way of truth – you who are truth itself who leads us to all Truth – the truth about ourselves, about our world, about the situations in which we find ourselves.

In spite of whatever pain and contradictions we experience in our own lives and in our broken wounded and violent world may we never lose faith in the fact that His strong yet gentle power is at work and can do infinitely more than we can ask or imagine. To Him be glory for ever and ever. Amen

O wisdom – come and teach us the way of Truth.