Tomorrow I Will Come!
December 17, 2016
THE O ANTIPHONS
THE O ANTIPHONS
As her final phase of preparation for Christmas, the Church recites or chants the O Antiphons during Vespers of the Liturgy of the Hours. The O Antiphons express the Church’s longing for and expectation of the Messiah, and her startled wonderment at the fullness of grace which the Christ-Child is about to bestow on the world.
Benedictine monks arranged these antiphons with a definite purpose. If one starts with the last title and takes the first letter of each one — Emmanuel, Rex, Oriens, Clavis, Radix, Adonai, Sapientia — the Latin words ero cras are formed, meaning, “Tomorrow, I will come.” In these words, the Lord Jesus, for whose coming we prepare in Advent and to whom we address these seven Messianic titles, now speaks to us. The O Antiphons not only bring intensity to our Advent preparations, but they bring our preparations to a joyful conclusion.
Dec. 17 – O Sapientia: O Wisdom (Eccl 24: 5), you came forth from the mouth of the Most High (Sir 24: 30) and, reaching from beginning to end, you ordered all things mightily and sweetly (Wis 8: 1). Come, and teach us the way of prudence (Isa 40: 14).
Dec. 18 – O Adonai: O Adonai or O Lord and Ruler (Exod 6: 13) of the house of Israel (Matt 2: 6), you appeared to Moses in the fire of the burning bush (Exod 3: 2); on Mount Sinai, you gave him your Law (Exod 20). Come, and with outstretched arm, redeem us (Jer 32: 21).
Dec. 19 – O Radix Jesse: O Root of Jesse, you stand for the ensign of all mankind (Isa 11: 10); before you, kings shall keep silence and, to you, all nations shall have recourse (Isa 52: 15). Come, and save us, and do not delay (Hab 2: 3).
Dec. 20 – O Clavis David: O Key of David (Apoc 3: 7), Scepter of the House of Israel, you open and no man closes; you close and no man opens (Isa 22: 22). Come, and deliver him from the chains of prison who sits in darkness and in the shadow of death (Ps 107: 10).
Dec. 21 – O Oriens: O Rising Dawn (Zac 6: 12), Radiance of the Light eternal (Hab 3: 4) and Sun of Justice (Mal 3: 20), come, and enlighten those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death (Ps 107: 10; Lk 1: 78).
Dec. 22 – O Rex Gentium: O King of the Gentiles (Hag 2: 8), Desired of all, you are the cornerstone that binds two into one (Eph 2: 20). Come, and save poor man whom you fashion out of clay (Gen 2: 7).
Dec. 23 – O Emmanuel: O Emmanuel (Isa 7: 14; 8: 8), our King and Lawgiver (Gen 49:10; cf. Ezek 21: 32), the Expected of the nations and their Savior (Isa 33: 22), come, and save us, O Lord our God.
November 28, 2016
In the last few months I have found myself reading the Great Prophet Ezekiel. I find his writings very mysterious, and at times hard to understand. One thing that I have learned from studying Holy Scripture and Holy Tradition is that the WORD written down by Ezekiel inspired by God, can have many meanings. For instance, Ezekiel could have been writing to his Hebrew brothers and sisters, or perhaps the to Babylonians who had captured him and brought him a way from his home, OR maybe, just maybe, he could have been writing this for us.
To make it even more confusing, the Great Prophet Ezekiel very well could have been writing for all of the above. That is the amazing characteristic of Holy Scripture, it can have so many layers and depths to it. The WORD can speak to the individual in a very personal and intimate way, and He can also speak to a group or country in a different way. In fact, the WORD speaks to us all, and at all times, we just need to listen, or read.
God is AMAZING!
Here is a passage from the Great Prophet Ezekiel 34:1-15…
 And the word of the Lord came to me, saying:  Son of man, prophesy concerning the shepherds of Israel: prophesy, and say to the shepherds: Thus saith the Lord God: Woe to the shepherds of Israel, that fed themselves: should not the flocks be fed by the shepherds?  You ate the milk, and you clothed yourselves with the wool, and you killed that which was fat: but my flock you did not feed.  The weak you have not strengthened, and that which was sick you have not healed, that which was broken you have not bound up, and that which was driven away you have not brought again, neither have you sought that which was lost: but you ruled over them with rigour, and with a high hand.  And my sheep were scattered, because there was no shepherd: and they became the prey of all the beasts of the field, and were scattered.
 Shepherds: That is, princes, magistrates, chief priests, and scribes.
 My sheep have wandered in every mountain, and in every high hill: and my flocks were scattered upon the face of the earth, and there was none that sought them, there was none, I say, that sought them.  Therefore, ye shepherds, hear the word of the Lord:  As I live, saith the Lord God, forasmuch as my flocks have been made a spoil, and my sheep are become a prey to all the beasts of the field, because there was no shepherd: for my shepherds did not seek after my flock, but the shepherds fed themselves, and fed not my flocks:  Therefore, ye shepherds, hear the word of the Lord:  Thus saith the Lord God: Behold I myself come upon the shepherds, I will require my flock at their hand, and I will cause them to cease from feeding the flock any more, neither shall the shepherds feed themselves any more: and I will deliver my flock from their mouth, and it shall no more be meat for them.
 For thus saith the Lord God: Behold I myself will seek my sheep, and will visit them.  As the shepherd visiteth his flock in the day when he shall be in the midst of his sheep that were scattered, so will I visit my sheep, and will deliver them out of all the places where they have been scattered in the cloudy and dark day.  And I will bring them out from the peoples, and will gather them out of the countries, and will bring them to their own land: and I will feed them in the mountains of Israel, by the rivers, and in all the habitations of the land.  I will feed them in the most fruitful pastures, and their pastures shall be in the high mountains of Israel: there shall they rest on the green grass, and be fed in fat pastures upon the mountains of Israel.  I will feed my sheep: and I will cause them to lie down, saith the Lord God.
 I will seek that which was lost: and that which was driven away, I will bring again: and I will bind up that which was broken, and I will strengthen that which was weak, and that which was fat and strong I will preserve: and I will feed them in judgment.  And as for you, O my flocks, thus saith the Lord God: Behold I judge between cattle and cattle, of rams and of he goats.