Advent 2014: ‘O Emmanuel’

Advent 2014: ‘O Emmanuel’

O Emmanuel, King and Lawgiver, desire of the nations, Saviour of all people, come and set us free, Lord our God. 

Issiah had prophesied, The Lord Himself will give you this sign: the Virgin shall be with child, and bear a son, and shall name him Emmanuel. 

Emmanuel literally means ‘God is with us’, so with this final ‘O Antiphon’ the Joy of God becoming man is fulfilled. Now that all the O Antiphons have been sung, we can take the last title first and then take the first letter of each one. Emmanuel, Rex, Oriens, Clavis, Radix, Adonai, Sapientia- the latin words ero cras are formed, meaning ‘Tomorrow I will come’. 

Therefore, after preparing for the coming of Our Lord this Advent, after joyfully expounding the various Messianic titles, a spoken response of ‘Tomorrow I will come’ we are given. Despite this phrase originating probably from the creative minds of Monks most likely in the late 7th Century, it nonetheless highlights to us the personal relationship we possess with God because of His Incarnation. It reminds us that we have a God who interrupts, and personally engages with his creation in order to bring it to a promised salvation. Therefore let us like Our Lady at the Annunciation, proclaiming a joyful yes, welcome God into our lives, not in a superficial way, but in a way similar to receiving a new born baby, requiring of us a full transformation of our lives if we are respond accordingly and honestly.

How can we prepare the crib of our own lives and hearts? What gifts can my life bring to Our Lord in changing the troubled world which still exists? Who are we to invite to His Nativity this year, showing them the answer and the true desire of all the nations?

Take a friend to His crib this Christmastide and pray together for a world that still needs to be aware of such a powerful, surprising gift from God! For God is truly with us!

fr. Christopher Pierce.