Advent 2010

December 20 – Monday in the octave leading up to Christmas

‘O’ Antiphon *

O key of David and sceptre of Israel, what you open no one else can close again; what you close no one can open. O come to lead the captive from prison; free those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death

Thought for today:

Australians will remember 2010 as the year St. Mary Mackillop (1842-1909) became their first canonised saint. Mary was an ordinary person going about her rather modest life when her eyes and heart fell upon members of society who lacked a foothold. Like Jesus, she stopped everything in her own regard to be available to others in theirs. She gathered around her a community of women known as the Sisters of St. Joseph who, in twos and threes, set out and settled among the struggling and the isolated.

Her joy was to see people growing and living full lives – healthy, educated and faith-filled. St. Mary MacKillop’s life reveals how God invariably works through little ones.

In the Gospels, Mary of Nazareth, a little one from Israel’s peasant class, introduces us to Jesus, who from the margins of society proclaimed God’s reign - eating with outsiders, healing the sick and forgiving sinners. St. Luke tells us that peasant shepherds were the first to recognise Jesus. The world’s powers largely missed him. 



‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you’, the angel answered, ‘and the power of the Most High will cover you with its shadow. And so the child will be holy and will be called Son of God’ ... I am the handmaid of the Lord,’ said Mary, ‘let what you have said be done to me’.
-Luke:1:35-36, 38


Gracious God, you reveal yourself in the lives of little ones. May we know you and one another along life’s way so that we may remain alert and waiting for the coming of your Son even among the least. We ask you this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Poetry extract 

In Advent we commemorate
That first great coming of the Lord
And, looking forward, celebrate
The day when all shall be restored
    Come, O Jesus,
Come, O Lord,
Fulfiller of the Father’s word
- From ‘Come, O Jesus’ by James McCauley

Musical reflection

‘Mary did you know?’ written by Mark Lowry and Buddy Greene, sung by Clay Aiken,with visuals taken from Franco Zeffirelli's 'Jesus of Nazareth', 1977 (Lyrics below).


Mary, did you know
that your Baby Boy would one day walk on water?
Mary, did you know
that your Baby Boy would save our sons and daughters?
Did you know
that your Baby Boy has come to make you new?
This Child that you delivered will soon deliver you.

Mary, did you know
that your Baby Boy will give sight to a blind man?
Mary, did you know
that your Baby Boy will calm the storm with His hand?
Did you know
that your Baby Boy has walked where angels trod?
When you kiss your little Baby you kissed the face of God?
Mary did you know.. Ooo Ooo Ooo
The blind will see.
The deaf will hear.
The dead will live again.
The lame will leap.
The dumb will speak
The praises of The Lamb.

Mary, did you know
that your Baby Boy is Lord of all creation?
Mary, did you know
that your Baby Boy would one day rule the nations?
Did you know
that your Baby Boy is heaven's perfect Lamb?
The sleeping Child you're holding is the Great, I Am.

* 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.