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Posted on: November 27th, 2021

By Sr. Doreen, SSJD

Sister Doreen’s Reflections

O Sapientia (Wisdom)

O Wisdom , from the mouth of the Most High (Sirach 24; 3-5), you reign over all things to the ends of the earth with your strong yet tender care (Wisdom 8:1).  Come and teach us how to live (Isaiah 40:14).

“O” – a call of longing and wonder to Jesus with a particular name; a praise for the wonder of that name; and a request for a particular need.

We ask God to come as Wisdom and teach us how to live (the way of prudence, the exercise of thoughtful care, sound judgement, cautious wisdom), to come and bring order to a world full of chaos and confusion.

A reflection on Wisdom

Wisdom is the Mother, gently awakening the child – each one of us – from a natural sleep.  It is a sleep to which we lent ourselves willingly in weariness at the end of yesterday, and now, strengthened and restored, we are ready to be awakened.  It is in these quiet moments that the common troubles of our world seem to drift away leaving us with a handful of things that really matter.  Mother Wisdom gently speaks to us so that we may open our eyes to the dawn, to the light and energies of a new world.  Wisdom speaks gently helping us grow in strength and belief in ourselves.  There are things we hope for: knowledge and  understanding while moving through this world.  The hope for clarity of sight to look beyond current circumstances, disappointments, and failures and to hope for the realization that our brightest futures await just beyond the border of what is visible at the present time.  Mother Wisdom’s voice is gentle and loving and she summons us to hope and long for truth, justice and peace.  And still there is about Wisdom a definite strength and masculine quality that exists within us to push that life out into our world.  Wisdom is called ‘a breath of the power of God’, ‘a reflection of eternal light – a mirror of the working of God’ (Wisdom 7).  This tender and strong love – tender compassion of our God who so loves the world – tenderly bends over it, encompasses, surrounds and enfolds it.  Yes O Wisdom, come and teach us how to live.

O Adonai (Lord)

O Lord and Head of the House of Israel (Exodus 20:1), you appeared to Moses in the fire of the burning bush (Exodus 3:2), and you gave the law on Sinai: (Exodus 20).  Come with outstretched arm and ransom us (Exodus 6:6)

“O” – a call of longing and wonder to Jesus with a particular name; a praise for the wonder of that name; and a request for a particular need.

We ask God to come as Lord to ransom us: save and redeem us – those enslaved in a country not their own (refugees and homeless), those without meaning in their lives, those who don’t fit in.

A reflection on Lord

Lord who appeared to Moses in the burning bush – oh the blaze of sun as it slips beneath the horizon; we are surrounded with blazing bushes – trees lit by sunset red!  How awesome!  Take off your shoes, for you are stranding on holy ground!  This is the holy ground of encounter – the world is ours.  Here in this place God has chosen to be at home.  Now, right here, in this place.  Holy  ground.  And this place is wherever each day I find myself, in whatever circumstances and situations.  Burning bushes of God surround us every day in people, places, things.  They are found where we least expect them:  in poverty, in the eyes of children, in suffering, in the graceful encounter of lovers, in the cry of a child, in the dry desert places and bleakness, in the dew on a spider’s web, in the smile on someone’s face.  Truly God’s voice speaks to us in the burning bushes of the entire world.  Yes, O Lord, the sacred, saving Gospel name of God, come with passion and saving love to empower us as a shalom community of faith in the work of liberation and peace.

Image Credit: The Great O Antiphons by Linda Henke
http://anccthecall.org/2017/12/09/the-great-os/linda-henke-great-o-antiphons-800×186/#main