Tuesday, December 23, 2008

O Emmanuel


O Emmanuel is today's antiphon and the final one. "el" at the end of Hebrew word means "God." "Bethel" means "House of God." "Michael" is "Who is like God." "Emmanuel" means "God with us." When King Ahaz refuses to ask for a sign Isaiah says, "The Lord himself will give you this sign: the virgin shall be with child, and bear a son, and name him Emmanuel." (7:14)
That God is in me and in the people and things around me is the heart of my spirituality at this point in my life and, especially during this Advent. We pray that we will become more aware of this Divine Presence and better able to surrender to IT.
"O Emmanuel, king and lawgiver, desire of the nations, Savior of all people, come and set us free, Lord our God."
(This is a picture of one of five small villages referred to as "Cinque Terre" which are a United Nations Heritage Sight. I can't remember the name of this particular village. I was struck by how the church was right in the middle of things. The fishing boats were tied up there and we swam between them and the church. In the evening men and boys together played soccer on the beach while many watched.)
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