Sunday, Dec. 18th 2016

Sunday Reflection: 4th Sunday of Advent

“A time of waiting and longing”

by Jon Tolberd, a senior from the Diocese of Wichita in Kansas

We are in the midst of one of the most joyful times of the year. It is almost Christmas. Christ is almost here. Houses are being fervently cleaned and decorated, so as to look immaculate from when relatives come over. Yet with all this hustle and bustle during this time, I always have thoughts like: “Will Christmas get here already?” “Can I open presents yet?” “When will my relatives get here?” The Church also is anxiously waiting for Christmas, and they express these pains through the “O” Antiphons, which are a set of antiphons for the Magnificat. They start on Dec 17 and are listed below. These antiphons hold a special place in my heart because we, seminarians at Conception Seminary College, are not allowed to celebrate the Christmas season until the start of the “O” Antiphons. During my four seasons of Advent at Conception, I have come to understand that Advent is a time of waiting and longing for the birth of Jesus. Advent is capped off with these “O” Antiphons, so that realize this holy longing is a good desire. It motivates us to receive Jesus in a special way, but also to give ourselves to Him, to deepen our relationship of Love. The focus is no longer on me and myself but rather Jesus and His self. We are to bring this relationship of Love to everyone we meet. I encourage you to look below at the “O” Antiphons. Read them carefully, and find one that sticks out to you. Keep this in your mind and in your heart as we end this Advent season, which is so full of waiting, and begin this Christmas season, which is so full of joy.

O Wisdom of our God Most High,
guiding creation with power and love:
come to teach us the path of knowledge!

O Leader of the House of Israel,
giver of the Law to Moses on Sinai:
come to rescue us with your mighty power!

O Root of Jesse’s stem,
sign of God’s love for all his people:
come to save us without delay!

O Radiant Dawn,
splendor of eternal light, sun of justice:
come and shine on those who dwell in darkness and in the
shadow of death.

O King of all nations and keystone of the Church:
come and save man, whom you formed from the dust!

O Emmanuel, our King and Giver of Law:
come to save us, Lord our God!

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