Thursday, December 17, 2009

Advent 19 : The Guide who Leads Us In Repentance

Today marks a turning-point - an opportunity to repent and by so doing step into the present presence of God’s future - on the path through Advent.

Today marks the start of the final leg of the Advent journey. Down the centuries, in these last days counting down to Christmas, the Church has declared our Advent hope, praying ancient prayers (known as Antiphons*) inviting God into our lives, expressing our longing to step into his kingdom rule.

The first Antiphon invokes God as Wisdom from above, calling to mind Isaiah’s promise that Jesus would be known as Wonderful Counsellor (Isaiah chapter 9).

I have not walked the path that leads through today before. At times, the path seems to vanish beneath my feet, to fall into nothingness, sheer, un-scale-able. At other moments, I get a glimpse of my destination, before the rocks hide it again: moments of hope sustaining me in the midst of a hard climb. I need one who knows the path, who knows its every twist and turn, to lead me, to walk one step ahead of me, to tell me when to change direction. I need a wise guide, an expert in the art of repentance. Today, he meets me on the path.

Today’s Antiphon is O Sapientia

*The Antiphons found their way into the Christmas Carol ‘O Come, O Come, Emmanuel’ - although some hymn books do not include all the verses, and therefore miss out some of the story the Antiphons tell about God.

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