Dec. 17, 2020

Thursday of the 3rd Week of Advent

1st Reading GN 49:2, 8-10

Psalm PS 85:9AB AND 10, 11-12, 13-14

Gospel MT 1:1-17

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

It starts to feel really, really real today – Christmas is just around the corner! Today is the beginning of the O Antiphons. From now until Dec. 23, the Church focuses on just one title of the prophesied Messiah per day. The O Antiphons have been part of the Church’s prayers since the 8th century, preceding the Magnificat at Evening prayer during these seven days. Even if you don’t think you are familiar with the O Antiphons, you know them – they are part of the song “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel”.

Our family will sing the closest verse to the day’s antiphon when we light our Advent wreath candles.

All the readings for today seem to shiver with excitement that the Messiah is near! The 1st reading is the promise that the tribe of Judah will be the ruling tribe. Matthew’s genealogy is the Gospel reading, establishing Jesus as a descendant of the house of Judah and of the line of King David. The psalm is the beautiful promise of the just king:

Justice shall flower in his days,
and profound peace, till the moon be no more.
May he rule from sea to sea,
and from the River to the ends of the earth.

If your Advent spirit is flagging, give it a good shaking and keep on! Our Lord is near!

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