Advent Reflection – 24

O come, O come, Emmanuel…

O come, thou Wisdom from on high…

O come, thou Rod of Jesse…

O come, thou Dayspring…

O come, thou Key of David…

O come, O come, great Lord of might…

O come, thou Root of Jesse’s tree…

O come, Desire of nations…

– First lines from O come, O come, Emmanuel from the twelfth century Latin

These first words of the stanzas of the famous Advent carol “O come, O come, Emmanuel,” also called the “O Antiphons,” show the diversity by which Jesus became known to the world. Jesus: Emmanuel (God is with us), Rod of Jesse, Dayspring, Desire of nations, Wisdom, Key of David, Root of Jesse’s tree, Lord of Might. Jesus Christ came into our world and permanently changed it. Christ’s life showed us how to become one with all of creation and with God. The diverse way in which Jesus Christ is known among Christians alone is something that fascinates and bewilders me. If you walk in a Roman Catholic church one week, and then the next week walk in an Evangelical Megachurch the next week, you might not realize that they are of the same flock of Jesus Christ. The way in which we express ourselves as Christians is wondrous. Christ is known to us in a number of ways. How is Christ known to you? How do you relate with Jesus and God? Does singing bring you closer to God? Does writing or reading? Or maybe hiking in the forest? Or maybe helping others? Whatever way brings you closer to God, whatever way helps you to know Jesus Christ better, keep doing that. Don’t listen to what others tell you. Listen to the voice of God that speaks to you in those still, solemn moments of your life. Remember the beautiful mystery that God is. We are blessed to have such an amazing and wondrous God. As we prepare to celebrate the birth of Christ, give thanks for that mystery, give thanks that it is God alone who knows our hearts. Open your hearts, and let God’s love shine there eternally!

For further reflections on each of the “O Antiphons,” visit the Society of Saint John the Evangelist’s O Antiphons Videos.

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