O King - 'O Antiphon' for the 22nd of December

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O King - 'O Antiphon' for the 22nd of December

Dominican Nuns Ireland
Published by Dominican Nuns Ireland in Reflections (Other) · 22 December 2020
Tags: Advent
O King whom all the peoples desire,
you are the cornerstone which makes all one.

Our 'O' Antiphon tonight is about a King who became an infant - not an infant who became a King. Here we hear echoes already of the Beatitudes - Blessed are the poor in spirit. As usual Jesus turns things upside down. He exposes the stupidity of pride and proves the wisdom of humility.

He could have assumed our nature in adult form and proceeded swiftly to His task, but He chose not to. He took the low road, the slow route of human growth, from conception, blessing every staging-post on the highway.

The Holy Eucharist continues this little way of the Incarnation, and we are invited to make a Mary-like response of whole hearted welcome. The Mother of God stands by every communicant at the altar. Both Christ's gift and our human response pass through her motherly love. The Eucharist is the only Sacrament in which Mary can give back her Son in person, particularly the body once formed in her womb.

In the Eucharist she renews her Yes to the Incarnation. Her motherly affection want to nourish her children, to give them spiritual food, enabling them to be more like her Son. In the Incarnation, Mary was the perfect model of welcoming the Word made Flesh and her total abandonment to God's will for her.

In the Church the Believer is a mother to Christ. What good is it to me if Christ came once in the flesh, if He does not come also into my soul? Let us pray that His daily advent may daily take place in us. The Church is the individual soul, in this spiritual birth she becomes the mother of Christ. God opens the 'maternal womb' of the Church and the soul to a mysterious new birth.

Just think what must have been going on in the Virgin's soul after the Incarnation, when she possessed within her the Word Incarnate, the gift of God. With what silence, what recollection, what adoration, she must have buried herself in the depths of her soul, in order to embrace this God whose mother she has become.

So dear sisters, let us stay close to Him in this silence, with this love of the Virigin - indeed in this mutual silence of the Son and Mother. It is a time for action too, as we give Him in love and patience to each other and to all who knock on our door. Bethlehem was a hive of activity - not even a room for the Holy Family at the Inn. 2000 years later things haven't changed, but the mystery we celebrate on Christmas night is hear again - now and the same forever, Amen.

O my King, come deeply and spiritually into my soul
Through the Immaculate Heart of Thy most Holy Mother,
Abide with me forever
Thou in me and I in Thee
in time and in Eternity in Mary.
Cf. Redeemer in the Womb; by John Saward


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