(Please note that in these days leading to Christmas there may be
multiple posts for each day, reflections and posts for the O Antiphons.)
In the seven days leading up to Christmas Eve, as a church we pray the O Antiphons. Part of the Liturgy of the Hours, also known as the Divine Office, they are sung immediately preceding the Magnificat at Vespers each day. To pray the O Antiphons, whether in a communal setting, or on your own, is to partake in an ancient and beautiful prayerful chants that call out for the coming of the Christ child. We are still in Advent, true, but our journey to the birth of Christ edges closer and closer.
The O Antiphons are each named with the prophecy of Isaiah as a backdrop and each one calls out a name for the messiah, beginning with today’s antiphon, O Sapientia, or O Wisdom!
O Sapientia, quae ex ore Altissimi prodisti, attingens a fine usque ad finem fortiter, suaviter disponensque omnia: veni ad docendum nos viam prudentiae.
O Wisdom, O holy Word of God, you govern all creation with your strong yet tender care: Come and show your people the way to salvation.
I noticed something remarkable the other day. The Old Testament Mass readings for Monday and Tuesday, the two days immediately before Lent, together make up the Creation story from Genesis. (Gen 1:1–31; and 2:1–3) I do not know whether this is what happens every year or whether this year is unique. What makes this fact remarkable? Well, the first reading at the Easter Vigil is the very same Creation story. Therefore, the seven weeks of Lent are set between two tellings of the seven days of Creation.
The liturgical readings for Lent form, in effect, the life and teachings of Jesus, the Word of God. This is the same Word of whom John said:
“All things came to be through Him, and without Him nothing came to be.” (Jn 1:3)
So if the Genesis story represents the all-powerful God, the Lenten liturgical readings tell us that that same all-powerful God lived in the same world as we do, and suffered the same pains as we do, and finally died for us, and for Continue reading