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

O King, whom all the peoples desire,
you are the cornerstone which makes all one.
O come and save us whom you made from clay.
Maranatha. Come Lord Jesus come.

Whom you made from clay. In Genesis we receive two accounts of the creation of man. “God said, Let us make man in our own image in the likeness of ourselves .God created man in the image of Himself, in the Image of God he created him”. And again it is said “God fashioned man of dust from the soil. Then he breathed into his nostrils a breath of life and thus man became a living being”. There is therefore inherent in the very fabric of our being God’s stamp, a likeness to Him, and the very breath we draw holds the memory of whence it came and the promise of its ultimate destiny. Some call it ‘Capax Dei’, others the divine spark; a secret knowledge that we are made for more than this world has to offer imprinted in us at the moment of our creation. St Augustine’s way of putting it gives voice to what many do not even realise. ‘You have made us for yourself O God and our hearts are restless until they rest in you’.

In our age as in every age our hearts get set on lesser things. We think the restless ache at the core of our being will be satisfied by wealth, by power, by pleasure, by learning; but no particular good even the most noble, lofty or idealistic can perfectly satisfy us. Only in the vision of God can our longings be stilled. And so deep within each person expressed in our relentless pursuit of happiness is a longing for Him whom all peoples desire – Jesus who will reveal to us what or Who it is we are really seeking. He is the cornerstone come to reveal the Father’s love, and come to make possible our return to the Father. In Him we see our God made visible. In Him the loving kindness of our God has appeared and no one can come to the Father except through Him. Jesus died to gather into one the children of God who are scattered abroad, to share with us all his unique relationship with the Father

We have been privileged to know this and have been entrusted, as Paul was, with the task of fully proclaiming this message, which is the secret kept hidden through all the ages from all humankind, but which he has now revealed to his people. It was God’s purpose to reveal it to us and to show the rich glory of this mystery to pagans. The secret is this Christ is in us which means that we will share the glory of God (Col).

So as we look into our own hearts this Christmas and at our broken, wounded, sinful Church and world let us not see a hopeless situation but rather redemption waiting to happen and let us enter into Christ’s own desire to come to save his people. Let us, as I read so beautifully recently, hold the mission of Jesus, the Christfication of the whole universe as an uncompromised priority. Now is our time of grace.