Tuesday, 22 December 2009

O Emmanuel

O Emmanuel, you are our king and judge, the One whom the peoples await and their Saviour. O come and save us, Lord, our God.

Today’s antiphon takes on some of the Messianic elements from yesterday’s antiphon. The titles given to Christ today are more familiar to us. They speak of a God that enters the human family and will stay within it as the Emmanuel – God with us. The name Emmanuel comes to us from the prophecy of Isaiah who speaks about the virgin birth of a Son from the line of David who will bring freedom to the people.
The New Testament and the Church Catholic will see the coming true of this prophecy in Mary and her child bearing, her Son is the Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father and Prince of Peace. (Is 9:6). On that day the prophetic word becomes true: “…and the Word became flesh and dwelt among us…” (Jn 1:14) Since then the worshippers of the true God worship in spirit and truth the Word made man in the infant of Bethlehem, Son of God and of the Virgin the God with us – Emmanuel!
The child grew in hiding until the day he appears at the Jordan to offer his light to all but especially to the poor and simple that welcomed with open arms the kingdom of God. To them especially Christ offered reconciliation with God and the knowledge of the joy of God who visits his people. Believing in Christ we experience the reality of Emmanuel. Believing in Christ one knows that he is the “Wonderful Counsellor” giving us the serenity that flows from his teaching; the “Mighty God” as he has both human and Divine natures; the “Eternal Father” as his love is everlasting, the king born for his subjects; the “Prince of Peace” as he alone gives the peace that passes all understanding, the peace between God and Man, and lasting peace between all human beings.
Emmanuel”, this is Christ in the life of the Church until the end of time. (Mt 28:20) At the consummation of time, we will see him in the splendour of his kingdom, in the beauty of his justice and as our loving salvation. Our longing is expressed in prayer to Christ as we say: “O come and save us, Lord, our God.”

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