Deacon Stu Dobson’s Reflection 12-17-21

Deacon Stu Dobson’s Reflection
3rd Friday in Advent, December 17, 2021
Gn 49:2, 8-10; Ps 72:1-4b, 7-8, 17; Mt 1:1-17

Today we begin the Octave before Christmas – the time we focus on all the prophecies declaring the coming of the Messiah, beginning with the sons of Jacob, being assured they will be blessed until the ultimate authority comes. We also hear the genealogy of Abraham to Jesus which fulfills the promise God made; that from the line of David, the Messiah will come. It begins the time we focus on and prepare fully for the coming of Jesus.

We also begin the time of the “O” antiphons. Listen closely to all the antiphons said before the Gospel (if they are said or look in a Missal for them). They list out all the prophesized names of Jesus of which the Hymn, “O come, O Come Emmanuel” is based on. And, if you recite the Liturgy of Hours, all these same antiphons are said during Evening Prayer

So why are they so important? Understanding the prophecies of the coming of the Messiah is the basis for our understanding of WHY God sent Jesus down to become one with us on earth. It is the fulfillment of the beginning and the end of the salvation promised to us by God. It begins in the Garden of Eden and ends with the coming of Christ. From here, we begin our story, the story of our life and struggles as we strive to enter the everlasting Kingdom of Heaven. To sum it up nicely, it is the entire story of our Savior coming to us, from the beginning to the end. 

So, listen closely for the “O” names of our savior, either in the song we will sing every day (O come, O Come Emmanuel) or in the Gospel antiphons. Hear the prophecies told as we prepare for the birth of our Lord, the fulfillment of all that was said. 

Published by St. James, Belvidere

Saint James Catholic Church, Belvidere, IL