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

O Emmanuel, you are our King and judge
the one whom the peoples await and their Saviour,
O Come and save us, Lord our God.
Emmanuel means ‘God with us’. Can we believe that God entered the womb of Mary, took flesh from her and became man? Do we really believe this? What greater thing has ever happened to all of us who believe, that Mary herself believing, received the Word concerning Him faithfully in her heart.
When we to acknowledge Him in faith and obtain forgiveness for our sins, then immediately – just as God the Word and Second Person of the Blessed Trinity entered into the Virgin’s womb – even so do we receive the Word in us as a kind of seed.
Be amazed on hearing this wondrous mystery and welcome this Word with assurance and faith. (1)
St. John tells us in his Gospel, “If anyone loves me he will keep my word, and my Father will love him and we will come and make our home in him”. (Jn 14)
If we only knew the gift that is being offered to us this Christmas night. We have a mystery in our hearts bigger than ourselves, built as we are like a tabernacle around this most Sacred Presence.(2)
The longer one gazes into this mystery the more one longs to go on gazing in silent wonder. But of course, as St. Thomas told us, there is no adequate picture of God to catch our eyes and hold them spellbound. Yet the little that we can see of the infinite perfection of God is an entrancing picture – a babe nestling in the arms of his virgin mother.
 Is there anything that can open our eyes to the Presence of the Infinite everywhere?
I think perhaps nature speaks volumes – when we look at the austere cleanliness of winter, the sharp tints of divine energy in the eager promise of Spring, “a host of Golden Daffodils dancing in the breeze”, how can we doubt. Think of the minute details of natures organisation, they stagger our minds with their multitude and complexity, and so give an insight into the horizons of Divine Wisdom. We can miss little signs like the sparkle in a child’s eyes at the thought of the gifts Santa will bring or the freshness of sky and countryside after a Spring Rain.
But we could say so much more and still fall short. Many mysteries remain even greater than these, for we have seen only a few of His works (Eccl 43). And the greatest of all is that God loved this world so much that He sent His only Son to redeem us and He did this with the consent of a young jewish girl. The desired of all nations knocked at your door Mary and you said your Yes. “Behold the handmaid of the Lord. Be it done to me according to your word”
Dare we to say our Yes to whatever His will hold for us in the coming year, allowing ourselves to be infinitely loved by our Emmanuel, and experience in the darkness of faith this intimate, personal and tender Love that Jesus has for each one.

Come my love,
my lovely one come.
Show me your face,
let me hear your voice
for your voice is sweet
and your face is beautiful.
(Song of Songs 2)
(1) cf. Simon the New Theologian
(2) cf. Hans Urs Von Balthasar, Prayer