On the 17th of December during the Liturgy of the Hours (Vespers, also called Evening Prayer) the Church begins the series of “O Antiphons” that we encounter each Advent. On these hallowed evenings I will write a short reflection for the current antiphon. Some may not know that the hymn O Come, O Come, Emmanuel is a musical composition of the O Antiphons.
O Wisdom, O holy Word of God, you govern all creation with your strong yet tender care. Come and show your people the way to salvation.
The Wisdom of God is prevalent throughout the Sacred Scriptures in many locations, including the obvious ones such as the Book of Wisdom, as well as many references to the Holy Spirit, and to the life breath of God – ruah in Hebrew. An example of ruah can be found in Genesis when God breathed his life-force into Adam.
The Greek word for wisdom is sophia – and the finest Church in the East was dedicated to Holy Wisdom, Hagia Sophia in the city that was formerly known as Constantinople or Byzantium, or currently Istanbul in present-day Turkey.
(Here is a photo of this marvelous Byzantine Church and architectural wonder)
Let us pray for the day when the Wisdom of Allah will inspire Muslims to return this beautiful Church back to Eastern Christians.
For that matter, let us pray each day that the Holy Spirit would fill us and direct us and guide our every activity.
On this holy evening – the Holy Spirit should be the focus and attention of our prayer, our thoughts and our movements. The day of the Messiah draws near – make straight the pathway, prepare for Him with devotion, dedication and joyful hope!