Today's Scriptural Meditation Readings:
December 17, A.D. 2004
What are the "O Antiphons"?
Starting on Friday, December 17 at daily Mass, we will begin the second part of Advent, an eight-day preparation for Christmas.
The Alleluia Verse before the Gospel from December 17 to 23, will be one of seven short prayers that have special richness and importance, known as the O Antiphons. According to the Vatican II Daily Missal, these prayers compress and express the Old Testament Messianic hope for Christ. These antiphons are read each day at Evening Prayer (Vespers) of the Roman Breviary and are used as the Alleluia verse of these last few Advent Masses.
The unknown Old Testament author of the O Antiphons knew and loved the Bible, and saw Christ in His Old Testament background. Let us quietly reflect each day on the meaning of these O Antiphons.
Wisdom of our God Most High,
guiding creation with power and love:
teach us to walk in the paths of knowledge.
A brief reflection on today's Scripture passages:
"The Book of the Genealogy of Jesus Christ"
What is there for us in this list of names? Are we to sit here in awe as an ancient tradition is enacted in which the claim to lineage is announced before all? What are we to make of this?
Well, Matthew has a very clear purpose for his Jewish audience in writing these words? But why has it been kept for us?
For one thing it remains to show us the kingship of the Lord. As Son of David, He is the rightful heir to the throne of Israel. He is truly the priest-king-messiah.
But there is another reason for this long list. Read it carefully as you meet your own family. That's correct. Through adoption we are the brothers and sisters of Jesus, therefore we read this list and we see our own family history. We can trace our own tendencies and traits in this list of figures.
We can see our lust and our dedication to God in David. We can see our fidelity in Ruth. As part of the divine family, we trace our roots back through the same line as Jesus. We see in this, a miniature portrait of all that God has redeemed and all that he will redeem. Murderers, prostitutes, and dissolutes--still the Lord called them home and welcomed them.
So, as you read, rejoice, because though your sins are blacker than coal, nevertheless they shall be made white and you will join the royal pageant entering into heaven celebrating the King of Kings who is our Lord and Savior.
(sriddle415 at yahoo dot com)
Lives of the saints:
Friday of the Third Week of Advent
Full Scripture text from today's Liturgy of the Word:
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