Reflecting with the “O Antiphons”
From www.usccb.org: The Roman Church has been singing the "O" Antiphons since at least the eighth century. They are the antiphons that accompany the Magnificat canticle of Evening Prayer from December 17-23. They are a magnificent theology that uses ancient biblical imagery drawn from the messianic hopes of the Old Testament to proclaim the coming Christ as the fulfillment not only of Old Testament hopes, but present ones as well. Their repeated use of the imperative "Come!" embodies the longing of all for the Divine Messiah.
Antiphon: O Wisdom of our God Most High, guiding creation with power and love: come to teach us the path of knowledge!
For reflection: Jesus IS power and He IS love. In Him, power and love always go hand-in-hand. How is He manifesting His power and His love in my life right now? How do I desire Him to move in power and in love in my life?
Antiphon: O Leader of the House of Israel, giver of the Law to Moses on Sinai: come to rescue us with your mighty power!
For reflection: Jesus WANTS to rescue me! What do I need to be rescued from? How does Jesus want to rescue me? Am I prepared to be rescued?
Antiphon: O Root of Jesse’s stem, sign of God’s love for all his people: come to save us without delay!
For reflection: The antiphon says that Jesus is the “root.” What am I rooted in right now, today? What does Jesus want to say or do so that I can be a little more rooted in Him?
Antiphon: O Radiant Dawn, splendor of eternal light, sun of justice: come and shine on those who dwell in darkness and in the shadow of death.
For reflection: Light! Jesus brings light! He only brings light, and He always brings light. Darkness is not from Him—He comes to shine in the darkness. He wants to shine in any darkness that exists in your life. Hand over the darkness to Him and watch Him flood it with light!
Antiphon: O Emmanuel, our King and Giver of Law: come to save us, Lord our God!
For reflection: How many times in your life have I said (and meant it), “Save me”? Probably not that many…but God comes to save me! He wants me to ask because He wants to save me…and He CAN save me. Do I believe that He saves me? What do I need to be saved from today?
Antiphon: O King of all nations and keystone of the Church: come and save man, whom you formed from the dust!
For reflection: Jesus can save me first of all because He is king, and second because He formed me! He knows me! He formed me in everything that I am and He knows me intimately. He is not afraid to know me, to touch me, to remain with me. As I picture Jesus’ hands forming and molding me, what do I want to ask Him for?
Antiphon: O Key of David, opening the gates of God’s eternal Kingdom: come and free the prisoners of darkness!
For reflection: Jesus is the key that opens. Jesus always opens, unleashes, unbinds, sets free. In these last days before Christmas, what do I desire Him to open for me? Ask Him to come and be the key that opens that area of my life, of my heart!