Advent 2009

December 17 – First Thursday in the octave leading up to Christmas

‘O’ Antiphon *

O Wisdom, you come forth from the mouth of the Most High. You fill the universe and hold all things together in a strong and gentle manner. O come to teach us the way of truth.

Thought for today:

Maria and Simon McMaster, with their teenage children, Anthony, Heidi and Chelsea, all became interested in the TV programme “Who do you think you are?”

So, at Heidi’s suggestion the family began to research their own origins on the McMaster side and the Mifsud side.  They had spread sheets and software programmes to assist them in their sporadic research.  After some muddles and false starts they discovered much about their forebears.

Over dinner one night they more or less agreed it was what they did with their lives now that mattered. But the exercise got them in touch with their desire to be faithful to the hopes of those who went before.  Their forebears, they discovered were ordinary people who reached out in faith, sometimes heroically, to other ordinary people.

Scholars agree we know little about Jesus’ physical family tree. But both Tradition and the scholars agree that Jesus came as the fulfilment of the hopes and longings of the generations and as the fulfilment of God’s long held promises of sending a Redeemer to be with them.  


The sum of the generations is therefore: fourteen from Abraham to David; fourteen from David to the Babylonian deportation; and fourteen from the Babylonian deportation to Christ.
- Matthew 1:17


Father, creator and redeemer, it was purely out of love for humanity that you chose to enter our world through the birth of your son and the outpouring of his Spirit. May we come to share the divinity of Christ who so gladly gave himself to share in our humanity. We ask you this through him for he lives with you for ever and ever. Amen.

Poetry extract 

Into the land (or church)
Where darkness reigns
There begins to shine
The Christ wrapped in swaddling clothes
- From “Jesus has to be born” by Kenneth Crotty

* The seven ‘O Antiphons’ (they each begin with ‘O’) are age-old songs that are part of the Catholic Church’s liturgy for Evening Prayer. Each evening, for Advent’s last eight days leading up to Christmas, one of the antiphons is sung. Each antiphon addresses Jesus with a unique title taken from the Prophet Isaiah.