For more than 1200 years, the prayers of Advent prepare us for the realization of God’s promise of a Messiah. The church has referred to the “O Antiphons” said during Vespers, or evening prayer beginning today through December 23rd. These titles invite the Messianic God–using Old Testament imagery–each day as the birth of Christ approaches.
Today we call upon our God and His Wisdom.
Flying home from a trip recently, I peered down at the cloud cover below as the plane ascended thousands of feet. I marveled at the way God knew every single particle of precipitation and condensation in those clouds. I also considered the texture and pattern which could be mistaken for a picture of something like candy, marble or cotton batting; things that are smaller, tangible and obtainable. But as I marveled at the heights, breadth and width of those clouds spanning miles and miles, I thought of God’s greatness.
14 For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, 16 that he may grant you in accord with the riches of his glory to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in the inner self, 17 and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, rooted and grounded in love, 18 may have strength to comprehend with all the holy ones what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. (Ephesians 3:14-19)
Our perspective as human beings is often very flawed. We have limited understanding of God, others, and even ourselves. We must be humble enough to accept that our victories are His and our failures are our own. During the week before Christmas, the O Antiphons accompany the prayer of Blessed Virgin Mary, the Magnificat, each evening at 6pm. In her humility to accept the will of God, even at the young age of 13 or 14; even when it meant devastation for a girl to be pregnant out of wedlock (and worse for one betrothed and not pregnant of her betrothed), she humbly TRUSTED the wisdom of her God.
The intricacy of a human being goes into millions of cellular combinations and scripture tells us “Even the hairs of your head have all been counted. Do not be afraid.” (Luke 12:7)
God creates us intentionally with great purpose and our individual gifts to be used to serve Him on this earth. Today let us pray along with Mary in her Magnificat as we call on our God of wisdom and creation, giving Him the trust He deserves.
My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,
my spirit rejoices in God my Savior
for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant.
From this day all generations will call me blessed:
the Almighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his Name.
He has mercy on those who fear him in every generation.
He has shown the strength of his arm,
he has scattered the proud in their conceit.
He has cast down the mighty from their thrones,
and has lifted up the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent away empty.
He has come to the help of his servant Israel
for he has remembered his promise of mercy,
the promise he made to our fathers,
to Abraham and his children for ever.