May I give you a diamond for Christmas? I would love to say that I could give you a real diamond for Christmas; but, as it is, I must settle for a spiritual diamond.

Diamonds are beautiful in so many ways. Their exterior beauty is obvious: color, shape, clarity, and luster. But their interior structure is also beautiful: molecular layout, mathematical precision, and strong bonds. When one looks at a diamond, almost naturally, they roll the diamond in the light to watch the change of lighting affect its coloration. In a way, the light dances and looks alive.

So, the diamond I wish to give you is the ‘O Antiphons.’ From December 17th through December 23rd, the Church’s Evening Prayer was characterized by these antiphons that reflect the beauty of Jesus: God-made- man. These antiphons “rotate,” so to speak, the mystery of the Incarnate-Deity, Jesus Christ, and look at his various mysteries from different points of view ... like rotating a diamond. These are the antiphons and the mysteries the each emphasize:

  • December 17 Antiphon: O Wisdom of our God Most High, guiding creation with power and love: come to teach us the path of knowledge!

    • Mystery: Jesus is the Word (Wisdom) through whom all creation was made.

  • December 18 Antiphon: Leader of the House of Israel, giver of the Law to Moses on Sinai: come to rescue us with your mighty power!

    • Mystery: Jesus is the “Law” the first “Word” given to Israel.

  • December 19 Antiphon: Root of Jesse’s stem, sign of God’s love for all his people: come to save us without delay!

    • Mystery: Jesus is the king, born of a kingly line.

  • December 20 Antiphon: Key of David, opening the gates of God’s eternal Kingdom: come and free the prisoners of darkness!

    • Mystery: Jesus is the judge and liberator of all held captive by sin.

  • December 21 Antiphon: Radiant Dawn, splendor of eternal light, sun of justice: come and shine on those who dwell in darkness and in the shadow of death!

    • Mystery: Jesus is “light from light” who has overcome the darkness of sin.

  • December 22 Antiphon: King of all nations and keystone of the Church: come and save man, whom you formed from the dust!

    • Mystery: Jesus is the cornerstone of humanity upon whom we are made one body.

  • December 23 Antiphon: Emmanuel, our King and Giver of Law: come to save us, Lord our God!

    • Mystery: Jesus is “God with us” whose very name means “God saves.”

In fact, these antiphons are the various verses of the hymn O Come, O Come, Emmanuel. So, every time we sign this hymn we are singing the ‘O Antiphons’Please, take this diamond of the mysteries of Jesus Christ to prayer. “Rotate” them, meditate on them, in you mind’s eye and notice how beautiful is the name, the person, of Jesus!

Father Jarrod Lies, Pastor