Today marks Christmas being one week away. May all our thoughts turn to Jesus Christ.
Yesterday I posted about how Hanukah began for the Jews, today I want to tell you that the Catholics also began a week of prayer.
THE LAST PART OF ADVENT
In the Catholic Church's traditional cycle of prayer, Evening Prayer, also called Vespers, always includes the great song of Mary known as the Magnificat. This song is preceded and followed by a short verse or "antiphon" that links it to the feast of the day or the season of the year. In the last seven days of Advent (December 17-24), the Magnificat antiphons are very special. Each begins with the exclamation "O" and ends with a plea for the Messiah to come. As Christmas approaches the cry becomes increasingly urgent.
These "O Antiphons" were composed in the seventh or eighth century when monks put together some of the key Old Testament texts and phrases looking forward to our salvation. They form a rich, interlocking mosaic of Scriptural images; in the Middle Ages the custom grew of ringing the great bells of the church each evening as they were being sung.
A particularly fascinating feature of the O Antiphons is that the first letter of each invocation, when read backwards, forms an acrostic in Latin: the first letters of Sapientia, Adonai, Radix, Clavis, Oriens, Rex, and Emmanuel in reverse form the Latin words: ERO CRAS. These are understood as the words of Jesus, responding to his people's plea, saying "Tomorrow I will be there."
I am looking forward to the return of Jesus. If it happens in my lifetime, I will marvel in the events that will happen and if I die before, I know that with my salvation I will be with Him in heaven. I wish He would return tomorrow. His second coming will not be like the celebration of His birth with a day marked on the calendar. When Jesus returns it will be without any time to prepare, He will return when it is God’s will for Him to return. By using the Advent season to point us day after day to the coming of Jesus, we must focus on our true home. That true home is, of course, life in eternity with God. The time is now to declare Jesus Christ is King. Our King, that still reigns.
Today it is my prayer for Jesus Christ to return. Salvation is for every person. May many be filled with the Holy Spirit and feel Jesus Christ calling them home, home being living a life in which Jesus Christ is the center of their lives so that they will know Him and He will know them when He returns.
Dear lord and savior Jesus, I am in prayer that you will reveal yourself in my life, lead me in the way that I am to go, direct my heart, my hands, my thoughts and my actions. I depend on you for all my needs and in You I have my faith for an extraordinary tomorrow.
I have faith in Jesus return.
Grace and Peace to you from God our father.