The great tradition of the Church during Advent is to sing the seven O Antiphons, which bracket the Vespers Magnificat from December 17th-23rd. Today we have reached the last of these beautiful antiphons, O Emmanuel.
It’s a strange feeling… a sadness and a joy, a bit like when one is finished reading a good book: the sadness at finishing is balanced by the joy and excitement in anticipating a new book. Likewise, while we are sorry to end the O Antiphons, we are very much awaiting the birth of Jesus. And it is with these sentiments that we sing “come Emmanuel and save us.”
This is our vocation! We are constantly saying: Come Lord Jesus… Come and help me to cook, come and lead my lectio divina, come and deliver us. And yet we believe that God is with us always. The interplay of the two is what monastic life is about. We live knowing God is with us, and yet we are hoping for and awaiting the second coming of the kingdom of heaven.