Monday, December 22, 2014

O Antiphon for December 22 -- O Rex Gentium!

O King of the Gentiles and the desire thereof, 
Thou cornerstone that makest both one,
come and deliver mankind, whom Thou didst form out of clay.
(cf. Isaiah 2:4, 9:5; Eph. 2:14)
Mosaic created by Mother Praxedes
Abbey of Regina Laudis, Bethelehem, CT

St. Augustine gave us perhaps the best description of Jesus Christ as the desire of all human hearts when he penned his famous phrase, "our hearts are restless until they rest in Thee." We all experience many different desires, but ultimately these desires point us to God. We feel a lack when we are not filled with God, because He has intentionally created us to long for Him. Unfortunately, it is not always clear to us that He alone will satisfy those many longings, so we try to fill that emptiness with a host of other things. The malls, the retailers, the advertisers - they all want to convince us that their products will fill the spaces in our hearts, and in the hearts of our loved ones, when in reality, only God can do that. The Baltimore Catechism asks the question, "Why did God make you?" and the answer, while straightforward, is also profound: He made us to know Him, to love Him, and to serve Him in this life, and to be happy with Him forever in the next. He is our beginning and our end - we were literally made for Him, and our greatest happiness will be found in loving Him. Of course, He cannot force us to love Him; in fact He gave us a free will so that it is entirely our choice. But then He chose to come to us as an Infant, because it is easy to love infants. May He grant us the grace this Christmas to lay down our hearts and our very lives in adoration before our Newborn King, who holds out a hand to each of us, inviting us to allow Him to satisfy the desires of our hearts.  ~Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist, Reflections on the Great O Antiphons

O King for Whom we long, come!
Take possession of our hearts
and rule them with Your love and mercy!

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