Thursday, December 17, 2020

December 17

Year of Saint Joseph 

Happy 84th Birthday Pope Francis. Auguri! 

Other saints: Saint Judicael (658); Saint Sturmi, Abbot (779); Saint Wivina, Abbess (?1170); Saint John of Matha, Founder (1213); Bd Joseph Manyanet y Vives, Founder (1833-1901)

Readings of the Day

RB: Ch 62 The Priests of the Monastery

Mass: Gn 49:2, 8-10; Resp Ps 72; Mt 1:1-17

May He rule from sea to sea, and from the River to the ends of the earth.

O Sapientia!
O Wisdom, coming forth from the mouth of the Most High, reaching from end to end, mightily and sweetly ordering all things: come and teach us the way of prudence.
(Traditional O Antiphon)

Welcome to December 17 when we turn once again to the teaching of our Church and read that "the weekdays from December 17 up to and including December 24 are ordered in a more direct way to preparing for the Nativity of the Lord" (Universal Norms on the Liturgical Year, 40). We are helped in our preparation in the readings at Mass, beginning with today's Gospel where we read Saint Matthew's "book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David the son of Abraham" (Mt1:1). Proclaim the text out loud, pronounce the names with confidence, think about these men and women, the father of this one and the mother of that one. And there is Mary, "of her was born Jesus who is called the Christ" (Mt 1:16). 

And then we have the great "O" Antiphons, traditionally sung at Vespers (Evening Prayer) before the Magnificat, each day beginning December 17 up to and including December 23. A shorter version of each antiphon is also used as the verse for the Gospel Acclamation at Mass each day. They are called "O" Antiphons because each one begins with the word "O", and each one addresses Jesus, not using the name Jesus though, but by a title for Him from the Old Testament. Then we sing, "come". You see today's "O" Antiphon above and from here through December 23, the Antiphon for the day will be at the top of the post. With or without Vespers, the "O" Antiphons can be used as your prayer each day to better prepare for the celebration of Christmas. O Wisdom ... come and teach us the way of prudence.

Another suggestion, borrowed from a friend and mentor, is to say a simple version of the "O" Antiphons as a Jesus prayer. They are listed here, one for each day:

O Jesus, Wisdom, come.
O Jesus, Adonai, come.
O Jesus, Root of Jesse, come.
O Jesus, Key of David, come.
O Jesus, Rising Sun, come.
O Jesus, King of the Nations, come.
O Jesus, Emmanuel, come. 


© Gertrude Feick 2020

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