O Compassionate God, open our hearts and minds to prepare us for your son's coming.
O Radiant Dawn, esplendor de luz eternal, may we be a reflection of divine light and love for all your creatures.
In the Northern Hemisphere, we experience much darkness during the month of December.
We pray that God will dispel the darkness of our world and bring hope and joy to those who long for the Lord's light and peace. God is our radiant and eternal light, our Sun of Justice. God is a lover of truth and justice who fills the earth with love. May our Advent be full of God's light, truth and justice.
-- Sr. Maria Larkin
Advent: Many find themselves in a tug of war as the church calls them to embrace Advent and the culture rushes pell-mell to Christmas.
O Wisdom guiding creation with love, fill us with wonder.
O Harbor of our Hearts, be a safe place in our dailiness.
Harbors are intended to be places of mooring of boats, steady places from the turmoil that the rough sea may sometimes bring. They are places of refreshment, relaxation and repair. May this Advent bring us to a mooring of our hearts so that we may be places of refreshment and replenishment of spirit for others who may find little else to grasp hold of in this tumultuous sea of life.
-- Sr. Chris Kean
What are the O Antiphons?
O Prince of Peace, prepare the way of our hearts moving us toward your justice.
Advent reminds us that our journey here is a preparation. We spend our whole lives preparing for the moment we will meet our Trinitarian God. May our preparations this Advent include a deepening in our hearts humbled by gratitude for the very gift of life we have been given. May our preparations help to shatter the pains of injustice, loneliness, and despair as we walk with others in the light, hope and compassion of the Prince of Peace.
-- Sr. Linda Zahner
Spiritual Reflections: Advent is a way of life, lived in watchfulness for the God who comes not just at Christmas, but every day, in wonderful and sometimes distressing disguises.
Today's solemnity brings up a touchy subject: Jesus' kingship. Some of the other Gospel readings proclaimed on this day actually tell us not to celebrate this feast, at least not in the manner we do.
Christians always find it difficult to live their lives of faith in the present, not in the past or the future.
It's easy to reflect on being one of God's followers in the good old days, now that situations and people's response to them have become black and white. What we were then to say and do is now perfectly clear. Or to push everything into a future world in which God will have changed things enough to make our choices easy, a world in which this world's "ifs" will be turned into certainties.
At first reading, it may seem that there is little connection between the first reading and the Gospel. The Maccabees text reports on the successive deaths of seven sons and their mother, each of whom died as a martyr for their faith. In the Gospel, the Levirate law governs the conversation between Jesus and some Sadducees. This law provided for the marriage of a widow to her deceased husband's brother to ensure the continuance of the family line (see Deuteronomy 25:5; Genesis 38:8).