O Come, Emmanuel

Matthew 18_23

Isaiah 7:13-16, Matthew 1: 18-25

With this last antiphon our expectation finds joy in the certainty of fulfillment. We call Jesus by one of the most personal and intimate of his titles, Emmanuel, which means “God with us.” Recalling, through Holy Scripture, God takes up human flesh, incarnate from the Virgin Mary. Our God comes nearer to us than we could have ever imagined! Yet, he is also to be exalted, placed high above us as our king, lawgiver and judge, the one whom we honor and obey.

Christ is born to Mary, her first born child. Even so, he is our Savior, long-expected by all creation. The final cry rises in urgency according to the need of those whose redemption is at hand. God has fulfilled his promise with the birth of this child. The same God will not withhold his grace even as it comes at the cost of the life of Mary’s son. The victory is at hand! And so the Advent Church sings:

O come, O come Emmanuel,
And ransom captive Israel
That mourns in lonely exile here
until the Son of God appear. Rejoice!

O Come, O Come Emmanuel v. 8 Traditional

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