Toronto, Canada| 416-226-2201|convent@ssjd.ca

Posted on: December 18th, 2021

By Sr. Doreen, SSJD.

Sister Doreen’s Reflections

O Emmanuel

O Emmanuel! (Isaiah 7:14, 8:8), hope of the nations and their Saviour (Isaiah 33:22) (Genesis 49:10) : Come and save us, Lord our God.

“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 Emmanuel to offer hope and bring salvation.

Reflection on O Emmanuel:

Emmanuel, the law-giver, the peace-bringer, the heart-healer.  We long for a presence amongst us that can bring us to something we call “home”, where we are at one with our deepest longings.  You are our God, come and save us – from ourselves, from our selfishness, our pride and arrogance, from our self-pity and our self-doubt.  Come and save us Emmanuel, from the fears that hold us in the dark:  our fears of others who are different that we are, our fears of changes and issues that clash.  Emmanuel – it is to us: to us that a child is born – and the government shall be upon Emmanuel’s shoulders, and Emmanuel will be called ‘wonderful counsellor, mighty and everlasting God, Prince of Peace’.  To us does God reveal tenderness in the person of Jesus.  To us does God show might and power, in the fragile gift of a child born to a woman.  To us – to our very self is Jesus given!  God takes on flesh so that every home becomes holy, every human person becomes the Christ, and all food and drink becomes a sacrament.  The very gift of Christmas is our own call to empty ourselves in order to be made pregnant with the Word.  We are responsible for the gift – and our task is to nurture it and love it into life.  Each of us are called to mother-forth the Christ given to us as gift.  Truly my hope is in You.

St Bernard said “what use is it to us if Christ be born in Bethlehem and not in our own hearts?”  We are called to bring Christ to birth in the world through the way we live with others.  We too are Theotokos – Christ bearers to the world.

Meditation Hymn on the O Antiphons by M. Haugen:

“O Lord of Light, our only hope of glory, Your radiance shines in all who look to you.
Come, light the hearts of all in dark and shadow. For you alone, O Lord, my soul in stillness waits
Truly my hope is in You.

O Spring of Joy, rain down upon our spirits, Our thirsty hearts are yearning for your Word,
Come, make us whole, be comfort to our hearts. For you, O Lord, my soul in stillness waits
Truly my hope is in You.

O Root of Life, implant your seed within us, And in your advent draw us all to you
Our hope reborn in dying and in rising. For you, O Lord, my soul in stillness waits
Truly my hope is in You.

O Key of Knowledge guide us in our pilgrimage We ever seek, yet unfulfilled remain,
Open to us the pathway of your peace. For you, O Lord, my soul in stillness waits
Truly my hope is in You.

Come, let us bow before the God who made us Let every heart be opened to the Lord
For we are all the people of his hand. For you, O Lord, my soul in stillness waits
Truly my hope is in You.

Here we shall meet the Maker of the heavens, Creator of the mountains and the seas
Lord of the stars, and present with us now. For you, O Lord, my soul in stillness waits
Truly my hope is in You.”

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