A continuation of our look at the O Antiphons for these last few days before Christmas…
LATIN: O Rex gentium, et desideratus earum, lapisque angularis, qui facis utraque unum: veni, et salva hominem, quem de limo formasti.
ENGLISH: O King of the gentiles/nations and their desired One, the cornerstone that makes both one: come, and deliver man, whom you formed out of the dust of the earth.
I Peter 2:6
Relevant verse of Veni, Veni Emmanuel:
O come, Desire of nations, bind,
In one the hearts of all mankind;
Bid Thou our sad divisions cease,
And be Thyself our King of peace.
During Advent, the Voice of the Word, the greatest man born of woman, St. John the Baptist calls for us to prepare the way for the Lord who is coming. The Lord is coming by the straight path, whether we have straightened it or not.
The Baptist’s message has it its core his own mission statement: He must increase, I must decrease.
In life we experience many different forms of "straightening" and "decreasing".
Chief among them is rejection, with the pain that comes with it.
The King who is coming sacramentally and liturgically at Bethlehem teaches us how to empty ourselves and how to endure the emptying which comes from the vicissitudes of our fallen state, our face to face and heart to heart meetings with cruelty, malice and indifference.