Tuesday, 22 December 2009

O Rex

O King whom all the peoples desire, you are the cornerstone which makes all one. O come and save man whom you made from clay.

Today’s antiphon weaves together a sea of peoples around the Messaiah-King and brings out their desire expressed down the ages.
From the Old Testament we learn the absolute sovereignty of God, a majesty which not even an earthly king could partake in. The scriptures of old teach us that there is only one Judge, one Lawgiver and one King, He alone could save us.

When Israel asked for a king, he was to be totally subject to the Mosaic Law and the Covenant. Significantly, while all neighbouring kings claimed some degree of divinity the Jewish king is son of God. But Israel will have a king who is also God, it will happen in the fullness of time, this king will herald the time of justice, love and peace, his kingdom will have no end. Kings will bow before him and bring him costly gifts, he will enter the holy city as a king and when he is lifted up from the earth he will claim a kingdom that has no end.

This is what we understand by calling Christ as the King. In Christmas we worship the new born king and we pray and work for his kingdom to come.
The first ground to claim in the work of the kingdom is our heart. The king who is to come will unite us around him. In this new edifice of the kingdom the corner stone: Jesus himself, is of the essence. As Jesus is the cornerstone, we must be united with and in him as living stones. (1Pt 2:4-5) In front of Christ we cannot remain neutral, we need accept him as the cornerstone upon which our existence is formed and shaped. “…built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom a whole structure is joined together and grows into a holy temple in the Lord; in whom you are also built into it for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.” (Eph 2: 20-22) This antiphon rich in the imagery of a kingdom open to all in Christ concludes with an invocation to the Messaiah to save those created by God from the earth but in his own image. It is in the fact that we are created in this image that the glory of mankind is found.

This image distorted by sin is made whole when we come face to face with the Mystery of the Incarnation in which we find the depths of the mercy of our Creator who lifts us to the original bliss in which He wills us to be. When we kneel in front of the crib we acknowledge this infinite mercy and we when we stand we will be wearing the regal crown of reconciliation. It is placed on our brow by him who elected to share our human nature in order that we can share in his divine nature.

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