Advent Reflections

Christmas Day / Peace

December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas! May a hurting world find peace and healing on this holy day. The word peace, or versions of the word, is used in all but one New Testament book. It seems the angels had it right when they declared, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!” They […]

The Holy Family

December 24, 2015

The Holy Family is the name given to the family unit of Jesus: Jesus, his mother the Virgin Mary, and his foster-father Joseph. We know very little about the life of the Holy Family through the Gospels. They speak of the early years of the Holy Family, including the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem, the […]

O Emmanuel / O Come O Come Emmanuel

December 23, 2015

The final of The Great “O” Antiphons reminds us that God is with us.  O Emmanuel, our King and Lawgiver, the Desire of all nations and their Salvation: Come and save us, O Lord our God. O Come, O Come, Emmanuel, one of our most popular Advent hymns, is a summation of the O Antiphons. […]

O King of Nations / Reign of God

December 22, 2015

Jesus as king and cornerstone is the message of the sixth of The Great “O” Antiphons, proclaiming the building of a new Christ-centered kingdom. O King of the nations, and their Desire, you are the cornerstone who makes us both one: Come and save the creature whom you fashioned from clay. While declaring that Christ […]

O Dayspring / Light in the Darkness

December 21, 2015

On this first day of winter, the fifth of The Great “O” Antiphons invites reflection on the promise of Jesus bringing light to a dark world. O Dayspring, Brightness of the Light Eternal, and Sun of Righteousness: Come and enlighten those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death. The word “dayspring” can be […]

O Key of David / Liberation

December 20, 2015

The fourth of the Great “O” Antiphons heralds the coming of Christ as the great liberator. Through his ancestor King David, Jesus holds the power to overcome darkness and death and set captives free. O Key of David, and Scepter of the house of Israel, you open and no one can shut, you shut and […]

O Root of Jesse / Jesse Tree

December 19, 2015

The third of The Great “O” Antiphons highlights Jesus’ lineage from Jesse, David’s father. The antiphons are seven brief prayers that are traditionally chanted or sung on successive evenings starting on December 17. O Root of Jesse, you stand as an ensign to the peoples; before you kings will shut their mouths, and nations bow […]

O Adonai / Discipleship

December 18, 2015

The second of The Great “O” Antiphons is O Adonai. These antiphons are seven brief prayers that are traditionally chanted or sung on successive evenings beginning on December 17. O Adonai, and Leader of the house of Israel, you appeared in the bush to Moses in a flame of fire, and gave him the law […]

O Wisdom / Storytelling / Testimony

December 17, 2015

The Great “O” Antiphons are seven brief prayers that are traditionally chanted or sung on successive evenings starting on December 17. The precise origin of these texts is unknown. However, by the 8th and 9th centuries, the church in Rome and monastic communities throughout western Europe were using them at evening worship services during the […]

Posada / Hospitality

December 16, 2015

Las Posadas, Spanish for “the inns,” is an Advent celebration of hospitality in Mexico and some parts of Central and South America. The Posadas symbolize Mary and Joseph’s long, frustrating search for a place to stay where Jesus could be born. Traditionally, different neighborhood families take turns scheduling a night to host the Posada, beginning […]

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