A Reflection on the ‘O Antiphon’ for the 18th of December
Published by Dominican Nuns Ireland in Reflections (Other) · 18 December 2018
O Adonai and leader of Israel,
You appeared to Moses in a burning bush
and You gave him the Law on Sinai.
and save us with Your mighty power.
(with arm outstretched to save)
What do you want from Christmas?
These last days of Advent seem to intend to teach us what to ask of the LORD – maybe in order that we may truly know and understand how to be human; and above all, that our humanity is meant to be one which seeks to serve.
“… the Son of man came not to serve, but to serve, and to give my life as a ransom for many.” ( Mk 10:45)
What desire in my soul at the moment of my encounter with the Infant Saviour of the world – with God – is awakened?
What do I want from Christmas?
Yesterday, we called upon the LORD who is Wisdom.
This evening we call upon Him as LORD and Leader: that with His arms outstretched, He might save us. With the gift of wisdom we have received, we are enabled by His grace to recognise the qualities of leadership that Jesus possessed. As members of His body through our baptism; as co-heirs with Him and destined to have a share in His divine life and in the eternal embrace of the Blessed Trinity, we should dare to claim His wisdom for ourselves: to allow ourselves to be guided and led by it; and by virtue of this gift, we should dare to own the kind leadership by which JESUS drew people into the truth.
When He appeared to Moses, in the midst of a burning bush which was not consumed by the flames of fire, the LORD taught Moses who he was and what great dignity was his – even though Moses himself feared that his weaknesses and imperfections were insurmountable barriers to fulfilling his vocation.
Yet, the LORD led him to the truth about himself.
All the prophets who resisted the LORD’s visitation – who made so many excuses as to why they weren’t good enough to fulfil the tasks entrusted to them – were also led to the truth about their inviolable dignity.
Even Mary, His own mother – who was without sin or imperfection – feared the annunciation of her own vocation – for she was indeed a very ‘little one’ for such a tremendous mission. Yet, she had the courage to listen and to believe that with God, it would not be impossible (cf Lk 1:37). She was able to see that He could lead her along the path for which she had been called. Do we have that courage, that faith?
It is quite fascinating to observe, throughout the accounts in the Gospel of JESUS’ encounters with people from every walk of life, that in every instance we are shown what divine leadership is; how in each encounter, JESUS opens people’s eyes to see Him and in seeing Him, are led to the truth about who they are: gifts of wisdom and truth are imparted to them. And it is this gift – His gift of leading us into the truth – which led Him to stretch out His arms on the cross in order to save us.
But save us, He did; for this He will be born very soon … for us.
Do we have the courage to ask for this gift this Christmas?
“Show us, LORD, Your way
That we may walk in Your truth:
Guide our hearts to fear Your name.” (cf Ps 86(85):11)
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