Advent 2009

December 18 – Friday in the octave leading up to Christmas

 ‘O’ Antiphon *

O Adonai and leader of Israel, you appeared to Moses in a burning bush and gave him the Law on Sinai. O come and save us with your mighty power.

 Thought for today:

Anita was able to deconstruct just about everything she could read or see. The philosophical tools she had at her finger tips and her keen mind allowed her to ask deep and searching questions.  ‘Why are poor people poor,’ she would ask her university friend, Terry.  And she would not brook his too-easy answers. Anita, as keen as her mind was, did not have a lot of joy in her life. She more or less had to invent each day as it came.  She took nothing for granted, received nothing as gift.

Terry was different. He was a story-teller who just loved to regale people with the marvels of life and how he had come across them.  Terry was good to be around. He asked few questions.  He didn’t examine things and seldom asked why things were the way they were. He was a dancing man.

Their friend Alex used to say he wished he was more like Anita and more like Terry both.  Alex wanted to be the kind of person who could question and examine life. He wanted to be an advocate for the poor.  But Alex also wanted to be a person who could sing of what life had given him .  He wanted to enjoy what was already there. He wanted to be someone who could squeeze the juice out of life, feel the love, and give thanks.


See the days are coming – it is the Lord who speaks –when I will raise a virtuous Branch for David, who will reign as true king and be wise, practicing honesty and integrity in the land.
- Jeremiah 23:5


Gracious God, you made the human heart to dance and the human mind to jump.
Recreate our humanity enabling us to once again dance and jump, give thanks and question. Reveal your ways to humanity that both love and justice may flourish through your Son who is coming into the world; he is Christ the Lord. Amen

Poetry extract 

Having planted a banana tree,
I’m a little contemptuous
of the bush clover.
- A haiku by Matsuo Basho

* The seven ‘O Antiphons’ (they each begin with ‘O’) are age-old songs that are part of the Catholic Church’s liturgy of 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 Prophet Isaiah.