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O Antiphons

“O Key of David” – Reflection for 20th December

O key of David and sceptre of Israel,what you open no one else can close again;what you close no one can open.O come to lead the captive from prison; free those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death.Today we address Christ as 鈥淜ey鈥. We are made in the image and likeness of God, but that likeness has been marred by the effects of sin. Christ shows us a man who is the perfect image and likeness of God and so gives us an example to follow. Christ is the key that unlocks our lives and frees us from sin and death. He is the key to our salvation. When we live in Christ, when we put on 鈥渢he mind of Christ鈥 (1Cor 2:16), then we are made capable of living life as it should be lived, a life in union with God.But a key only works […]

By |December 21st, 2012|Liturgy|0 Comments

“O Root of Jesse” – Reflection for 19th December

O Root of Jesse set up as a sign to the peoples come to save us and delay no more.This is the third 鈥極 Antiphon鈥 during this time of preparation for the Christmas celebration. Four of the seven Antiphons call upon God to 鈥榗ome and save us鈥, whilst the other three call on him to 鈥榣iberate us鈥, 鈥榯o enlighten us鈥 and 鈥榯o teach us鈥. Today we call upon God to save us and to delay no more 鈥 this theme is very prominent in all the liturgy of this season. People through the ages right up to the present day either explicitly or implicitly have called on God to save them 鈥 but the marvellous TRUTH is that our loving Father in Heaven wants it infinitely more than we could ever conceive in our finite minds and hearts. So much does he thirst for all peoples to be with […]

By |December 19th, 2012|Liturgy|0 Comments

O Adonai – 18th December

Today we address our awaited Saviour as 鈥淎donai and Leader who appeared to Moses in the burning bush and gave him the Law on Sinai鈥 as we implore him to 鈥渃ome and save us with outstretched arm.鈥漌hen God appeared to Moses in the burning bush, Moses was not seeking God 鈥 he was just going about his daily business, looking after the flock 鈥 it was God who took the initiative and broke into Moses鈥 life 鈥 and not just for Moses鈥 sake but for the sake of the Israelite people who were held in the bondage of slavery in Egypt: 鈥淚 have seen the misery of my people in Egypt 鈥 am well aware of their sufferings and I have come down to rescue them and bring them out from the clutches of Egypt to a country rich and broad.鈥 (cf Ex 3: 7-8)It is this same God […]

By |December 18th, 2012|Liturgy|0 Comments

“O Wisdom” – Reflection for 17th December

It was Kipling who spoke of 鈥渨aiting and not being tired by waiting鈥.The season of Advent is all about WAITING. We wait in expectant hope and prayer all through Advent. But in the final seven or eight days of the season this ardent desire and longing is intensified and deepened as we draw nearer the liturgical celebration of the Birth of Christ.Yesterday, we began our nine-day novena for the great feast of the Birth of Christ and for the next seven days, beginning today, we accentuate that longing which finds its expression most beautifully in the great Vespers antiphons for the Magnificat, called the 鈥淥鈥 Antiphons, because they all begin with 鈥淥鈥. These antiphons will be used each evening before and after the Magnificat, and as the Gospel acclamation at Mass. Repetition helps us keep the antiphon in mind so that we can reflect on it and let it […]

By |December 17th, 2012|Liturgy|0 Comments

Reflection on the ‘O Antiphon’ – 23rd December

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 judgethe 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 […]

By |December 23rd, 2011|Liturgy|0 Comments

Reflection on the ‘O Antiphon’ – 22nd December

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 […]

By |December 23rd, 2011|Liturgy|0 Comments

Reflection on the ‘O Antiphon’ – 21st December

Below is the text of a reflection given by one of our sisters on yesterday’s Magnificat Antiphon, which invokes Christ as the Rising Sun. (If you prefer to listen, click the ‘play’ button in the box below). O Rising Sun, You are the splendour of eternal light and the Sun of Justice. O come and enlighten those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death.By living in Ireland I have learned to see the Sun, even if it is raining. Our whole business in this life is to restore to health the eye of the heart whereby God can be seen.Each of the antiphons contains the words “O” and “COME”, expressive of longing, pleading, heart-felt desire. In them we beg God to BE with us and SAVE us.The longing for God expressed in the antiphons is the pale human shadow of God鈥檚 longing for us. They are […]

By |December 22nd, 2011|Liturgy|1 Comment

Reflection on the ‘O Antiphon’ – 20th December

Below is the text of a reflection given by one of our sisters on today’s Magnificat Antiphon, which invokes Christ as the Key of David.(If you prefer to listen, click the ‘play’ button in the box below). O come now key of David, come,And open wide our heavenly home,make safe the way that leads on highAnd close the path to misery.Rejoice, Rejoice!Emmanuel shall come to you O Israel.Reflecting on this Antiphon alongside today鈥檚 Gospel, (Lk.1:26-38), we have highlighted for us the Presence of God in our lives.A few verses before today鈥檚 Gospel passage, the Archangel Gabriel, tells Zachary: 鈥渕y name is Gabriel and my place is in God鈥檚 Presence. What a truly stupendous statement! Further on in the same Gospel passage, we are told of this same Archangel when he visits Mary with the tidings of the Incarnation鈥.鈥檌nto her presence the angel came鈥. (R.Knox translation)Surely we are left in […]

By |December 20th, 2011|Liturgy|0 Comments

Reflection on the ‘O Antiphon’ – 19th December

Below is the text of a reflection given by one of our sisters on today’s Magnificat Antiphon, which invokes Christ as the Root of Jesse.(If you prefer to listen, click the ‘play’ button in the box below) O Root of Jesse, you stand as a sign for the nations;Kings fall silent before you whom the peoples acclaim.O come to deliver us, and do not delay.The Holy Spirit speaking through the prophet Isaiah over 700 years before Christ said “a shoot springs from the stump of Jesse, a scion thrusts from his roots, on him the spirit of the Lord rests”. Jesse was the father of King David. Isaiah must have seen in a vision a sapling springing from the apparently dead stump of Jesse. He lived about 300 years after David and the Davidic dynasty did not appear very hopeful. So it is on a future king that Isaiah […]

By |December 19th, 2011|Liturgy|0 Comments

Reflection on the ‘O Antiphon’ – 18th December

Below is the text of a reflection give by one of our sisters on today’s Magnificat Antiphon, which speaks of Christ appearing to Moses in the burning bush. (If you prefer to listen, click the ‘play’ button in the box below)O Adonai and leader of Israel, you appeared to Moses in a burning bush and you gave him the Law on Sinai. O come and save us with your mighty power.Today鈥檚 鈥極 Antiphon鈥 refers to God鈥檚 coming to His people while they were living in slavery in Egypt. He reveals Himself as the 鈥楬oly One鈥, the 鈥楾ranscendent One鈥 as He calls out to Moses: 鈥淐ome no nearer. Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.鈥 Yet He is not aloof from His people鈥檚 plight. He says: 鈥淚 have seen the misery of my people. I have heard […]

By |December 18th, 2011|Liturgy|0 Comments