“O King of all the nations, the only joy of every human heart; O Keystone of the mighty arch of man: Come and save the creature you fashioned from the dust.”
From early recorded history, we have seen the establishment of kingdoms and, therefore, dynasties of kings. Kings were very important to people because they brought about a sense of order and offered a feeling of protection.
In the early days of Israel, they, too, wanted a king. Even though God was their king, they wanted someone of flesh and blood whom they could see, hear, and relate to on a more personal basis. The prophets warned that a king would take their money, produce, and lands in taxation and would take their children as servants or warriors. Nonetheless, they insisted that they be given a king and one was anointed for them.
All that the prophets said came true and they began to look for their true king (God) to come forth one day. Today’s “O Antiphon”, O Rex Gentium (O King Of All The Nations) is a reminder of that. The Church prays to our one, true King, asking Him to come and save the people whom He has created.
We see what has happened in the world when people pledged themselves to kings and rulers. Despots have ruined countries and slaughtered millions. Others have lived in chains, in prisons, in institutions, deprived of the very freedom they thought would be provided to them by the rulers they established.
Instead of peace, a great sense of unrest has settled upon our world. Now, not only in the name of kings and rulers but also in the name of God, there are those who would deprive people of their freedom or their lives. We are in desperate need of being freed from the tyranny of oppression. Sin should never be allowed free reign.
Indeed, come, King of the Nations, save us and bring us your peace.
FAITH ACTION: As you reflect on the verse of today’s Advent Hymn, pray for a true and lasting peace among all people throughout the world.
O Come, Desire of the nations, bind
in one the hearts of all mankind;
bid every strife and quarrel cease
and fill the world with heaven’s peace.