“O Emmanuel, king and lawgiver, desire of the nations, Savior of all people: Come and set us free, Lord our God.”
Our consideration of the “O Antiphons” ends today. For seven days, we have recounted different titles of the Messiah and the implications that those titles held. One might say, “Why quit today? There are still morning Masses tomorrow.”
Remember, the O Antiphons are those that are used with evening prayer. Evening prayer tomorrow will be Christmas Eve. We will already be celebrating the feast of Christmas. That is why December 23rd has the last antiphon.
Emmanuel. That name has a lot of meaning. Literally, it means God-With-Us. We have been proclaiming titles of Christ. Now, with Christmas so close that we can touch it, we sing in joyful anticipation.
This is not the anticipation of a hope that has no chance of being fulfilled. This is the anticipation of a hope that we know will come just as children know, when they go to bed on Christmas Eve, that Christmas will be here the next day.
As certain as day follows night, the reality of a Savior follows the promise of He who was to come. We no longer have to “worry” about the fulfillment of a promise. We are not part of those generations hoping for a Messiah. We know that the Savior was born in Bethlehem.
Just as certain as we know He was born, we know that He will come again. The next time He comes will not be as a tiny, fragile baby but in all of His majesty and glory.
O Come, O Come, Emmanuel and ransom captive Israel!
FAITH ACTION: Ask God to show you that He is with you today and sing in joyful anticipation:
O come, O come, Emmanuel
And ransom captive Israel
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.