The O Antiphons have been around since the 8th century and are said/sung from December 17 to the 23rd. Each symbol and day is drawn from ancient biblical imagery prefacing and prophesing the coming of the Messiah. They fulfill the prophesies that had been around since the beginning of time and ones that were present just before Christ’s birth. Each one is sung or said with “O Come” to show their longing for the Messiah. O Come Emmanuel is the song that collectively uses the O Antiphons, thus why we sing it repeatedly at Christmastime. Open your hearts today to the O Antiphons and reflect before this last week of Advent.
17: O Wisdom of our God Most High, guiding creation with power and love: come to teach us the path of knowledge!
God is the Most High Being. His hand guides all of creation, with His power, love, knowledge, wisdom, and mercy. He will be there all the days of our lives, and will walk with us until the end of time. To have wisdom means to have knowledge of what is true or right with just judgement. God’s wisdom will lead us to salvation because He is the way, the truth, and the life. His mercy endures forever.
18: O Leader of the House of Israel, giver of the Law to Moses on Sinai: come to rescue us with your mighty power!
We ask to be set free so that we can know God. In a world full of distractions, it’s hard to take a moment to step back and reflect. We all need to be set free of distractions, gossip, envy, jealousy, lies, gluttony, and all the other things the devil tries to put in our heads. Our constant moving and going takes away time from getting acquainted with our loving Father.
The Ten Commandments were given to Moses on Mount Sinai. They are rules by which we live, just as the people of the Old Testament did. They are basic guidelines for living as a Christian and were made perfect when Jesus preached the Beatitudes during the Sermon on the Mount. Ask Jesus this day to guide you to living the Ten Commandments, and that you can be free of distractions to know him intimately.
19: O Root of Jesse’s stem, sign of God’s love for all his people: come to save us without delay!
The Root of Jesse is how we know God’s plan was so perfect. The Geneaology of Jesus can be traced all the way back to Adam in a perfectly straight line, including Jesse, David, and Solomon. While the ancestors of Christ were not necessarily “Christians”, God had a plan for each one of them so they could know Him. Little did they know that each time their family expanded, they would be opening their hearts and families to the Sacred Heart.
Christ is the definition of love. He came into this world as a newborn baby, in all his innocence. He perfected empathy when He chose to be raised up like humans and die like we do. Ask Jesus to surround you in His love today. Open your heart and your family to the call of Jesus, because He works miracles in your life. God loves you so much.
Call upon the Holy Spirit this day, and ask Him, “How can I open my heart to you today?”
20: O Key of David, opening the gates of God’s eternal Kingdom: come and free the prisoners of darkness!
Adam and Eve committed the Original Sin, creating a mark on the souls of all future descendants. Through the Sacrament of Baptism, we break free of the prison of Original Sin. However, we are still tempted each day by the devil, and we must call upon God to help us in this journey of life.
The devil is afraid of the name of Jesus. He runs in fear because of our Mighty Lord.
Through the ultimate sacrifice on the Cross, Christ saved us from sin and death. As humans, death is inevitable, but Christ made sure we don’t have to spend eternity separated from God, unless we choose that path. “You didn’t want heaven without us. So Jesus, You brought heaven down. My sin was great, Your love was greater. What could separate us now?”
So call upon God this day in prayer. Ask Him to help guide you to Heaven and save you from the temptation of sin. Call out Jesus’s name.
21: O Radiant Dawn, splendor of eternal light, sun of justice: come and shine on those who dwell in darkness and in the shadow of death.
People who walk in darkness have seen a great light. Those in the shadow of death and sin can repent. This Advent season, take the time to prepare your hearts to allow Jesus to dwell within you.
Stay awake, be ready! You don’t know the hour when the Lord is coming. Stay Awake! Be ready! The Lord is coming soon. Alleluia!
Pray to the Radiant dawn and ask Him to shine upon you who dwell in darkness.
22: O King of all nations and keystone of the Church: come and save man, whom you formed from the dust!
Psalms 139:14 says we are “Fearfully and wonderfully made.” All the children of God are made in His image and likeness. We say that because God formed Adam from dust and breathed life into him.
God says “Before you formed in the womb, I knew you. God breathed life into each of us before our mothers even knew us. God has a special plan for each one of us.
Call upon God today to ask Him how you can carry out the plan He has for you. Ask Him to help you see yourself as He sees you – beautiful in every way.
23: O Emmanuel, our King and Giver of Law: come to save us, Lord our God!
Jesus will always love us, even if we turn away from Him. He is standing beside you waiting to show you mercy. Jesus is always depicted with arms wide open, ready for you to come running back.
Even when it feels like you can’t feel Jesus or see His footprints beside you, He is surrounding you in love and carrying you. He wants to hear all about your sorrows and pain, and He will never let you down.
To know Jesus is to have faith in Him and pray to Him often. His voice is not always clear as day, but the voice of Jesus is never filled with doubt or worry. He knows what is best for you and you need to trust Him every step of the way.
Ask Jesus to help you know He is there with you. Ask Him to guide you every step of the way. Pray to Him often; He is your best friend!