December 18- O’Antiphon

December 18 – O’Antiphons – Day 2
Dec. 18
Look at Jesus more than your sin
“O Adonai and Ruler of the house of Israel, you appeared to Moses in the fire of the burning bush and on Mount Sinai gave him your Law. Come, and with an outstretched arm redeem us.”
God chose the people of Israel to make himself known to all nations. The same God became flesh and came to deliver us with his mighty arm. Jesus is the true ruler they were waiting for, the one who came to deliver them from the power of sin. He indeed has the power to lift us up and redeem us from the darkness of sin that enslaves us.
What are my weaknesses? What sin do I fall into continually? God gives us the grace to overcome sin, but how if it often seems impossible? While it is necessary to avoid all occasions of sin, we often make the mistake of staring more at our sin than at Jesus himself. The best way to overcome sin is to love Jesus more. When we truly love, we learn to hate and reject everything that separates us from our beloved. Today, fix your gaze on an image of Jesus and constantly tell him throughout the day how much you love him. Ask him to help you love him more.
Lord Jesus, you came to give us true freedom. Help me to love you with all my mind, soul, and body so that I may learn to reject everything that keeps me away from you. I trust in your love and mercy.
What are the “O Antiphons”?

The O Antiphons refer to the seven antiphons that are recited (or chanted) preceding the Magnificat during Vespers of the Liturgy of the Hours. They cover the special period of Advent preparation known as the Octave before Christmas, Dec. 17-23, with Dec. 24 being Christmas Eve and Vespers for that evening being for the Christmas Vigil.

The exact origin of the O Antiphons is not known. Boethius (c. 480-524) made a slight reference to them, thereby suggesting their presence at that time. At the Benedictine abbey of Fleury (now Saint-Benoit-sur-Loire), these antiphons were recited by the abbot and other abbey leaders in descending rank, and then a gift was given to each member of the community. By the eighth century, they are in use in the liturgical celebrations in Rome. The usage of the O Antiphons was so prevalent in monasteries that the phrases, Keep your O and The Great O Antiphons were common parlance. One may thereby conclude that in some fashion the O Antiphons have been part of our liturgical tradition since the very early Church.

The importance of O Antiphons is twofold: Each one highlights a title for the Messiah: O Sapientia (O Wisdom), O Adonai (O Lord), O Radix Jesse (O Root of Jesse), O Clavis David (O Key of David), O Oriens (O Rising Sun), O Rex Gentium (O King of the Nations), and O Emmanuel. Also, each one refers to the prophecy of Isaiah of the coming of the Messiah.

Let’s now look at each antiphon with just a sample of Isaiah’s related prophecies :

O Sapientia: O Wisdom, O holy Word of God, you govern all creation with your strong yet tender care. Come and show your people the way to salvation. Isaiah had prophesied, The spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him: a spirit of wisdom and of understanding, a spirit of counsel and of strength, a spirit of knowledge and fear of the Lord, and his delight shall be the fear of the Lord. (Isaiah 11:2-3), and Wonderful is His counsel and great is His wisdom. (Isaiah 28:29).

O Adonai: O sacred Lord of ancient Israel, who showed yourself to Moses in the burning bush, who gave him the holy law on Sinai mountain: come, stretch out your mighty hand to set us free. Isaiah had prophesied, But He shall judge the poor with justice, and decide aright for the lands afflicted. He shall strike the ruthless with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips he shall slay the wicked. Justice shall be the band around his waist, and faithfulness a belt upon his hips. (Isaiah 11:4-5); and Indeed the Lord will be there with us, majestic; yes the Lord our judge, the Lord our lawgiver, the Lord our king, he it is who will save us. (Isaiah 33:22).