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Wednesday, December 18, 2013

O dear...

English: Jesus Christ - detail from Deesis mos...
English: Jesus Christ - detail from Deesis mosaic, Hagia Sophia, Istanbul (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I looked at the calendar today and noted that it is the coundown towards Christmas and the appearance of the O Antiphons.

Today's being O Lord or O Adonai. In our Church's liturgical prayer of the Divine Office, the antiphons show themselves prior to and after the recitation of the Magnificat during the Evening Prayer (Vespers). But I wonder if the celebration of Christmas all this while really celebrates the Lordship of Christ as it really should....

I think the latest Apostolic Exhortation, Evangelii Gaudium, can offer us a direction in this.

George Wiegel, a leading American Catholic intellectual as well as a political and social activist, commented that the Pope's Exhortation sought to "... highlight the importance of evangelization, the challenges that impede its progress, the early Church’s tradition of hands-on service to the poor, the hunger for good homilies and the need for courageous believers prepared to share the Word in slum neighborhoods and corporate boardrooms."

Fr Robert Barron, rector of St. Mary of the Lake Seminary in Mundelein, Illinois, and the founder of Word on Fire Catholic Ministries, says that, "Pope Francis invites all Christians everywhere to a renewed personal encounter with Jesus Christ and identifies evangelization as the center of the Church’s concern... In order to fulfill our mission to introduce the world to Christ, we must first know him ourselves, and one of the foremost characteristics of someone who knows Christ is joy... Pope Francis is clear: The one thing that positions everything that the Church seeks to accomplish, from worship to catechesis to efforts to serve the needs of the poor, is the central and urgent task of evangelization."

Our Holy Father himself offers this sad observation in his document, "How can it be that it is not a news item when an elderly homeless person dies of exposure, but it is news when the stock market loses two points?"

So, when we speak of O Adonai, I wonder whether we ourselves know who our Lord really is and what he actually is asking of us to put into action in our lives in order to continue the mission that he started more than 2000 years ago...
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