O Emmanuel, our King and Giver of Law: come to save us, Lord our God!
Emmanuel – Emmanuel
O Come, O Come, Emmanuel, and ransom captive Israel, that mourns in lonely exile here until the Son of God appear.
Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Look, the young woman is with child and shall bear a son, and shall name him Emmanuel.
‘Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,
and they shall name him Emmanuel’,
which means, ‘God is with us.’
1 Timothy 4:9
The saying is sure and worthy of full acceptance.
Reflection by Father Coutts
O King of the Gentiles
In countries where democracy exists, the idea of a king does not hold much interest. We are not prone to bowing and kneeling before another human or using titles like Your Royal Highness. Furthermore we do not want to give up our free will or control of our lives.
But as this messianic title: King of the Gentiles is given to Jesus – we know none of the above applies. His Kingdom is in the tradition of David who was shepherd and King. The Kingdom of Jesus was incomprehensible to Pilate. Jesus assured him that his was not a Kingdom of this world, nor was it one of violence.
In fact the Christ, as the King of the Gentiles does not use coercion, but rather invites those who want to freely join. Each person has the choice to join or opt out. It is a Kingdom in which there is no corruption, no nepotism, no clique of cronies helping each other to pad their bank accounts. On the contrary, this King of the Gentiles – invites you to sell all, give it to the poor and come follow him. Once you have done so, there is no turning back.
This King is the cornerstone, the lynch pin that holds his followers together. His disciples, his apostles, those who believe in him are held in unity because of Him. Their love is to be shown in service and then some. The Kingdom is open to all, no restrictions, no demands, and no dues. The only condition is a desire to be holy and follow in the footsteps of this Shepherd-King. He will go after the sheep that is lost, the one that strays, the one who wanted to return – this one would be accepted back, with no questions asked.
If there was a condition, it was that each should go out into the highways and byways and invite others to join and savour the peace, the comfort and joy that is the outcome of this community.
Pope Francis said (Nov 26,2013) “I prefer a church that is bruised, hurting and dirty because it has been out in the streets, rather than in the church which is unhealthy from being confined which is unhealthy from clinging to its own security.
This King as Wisdom was there are the beginning of creation. He saw us humans created out of the dust of the earth. He now invites to a new level of being – not just human, but divine. He is the Word who has come into the world. All those who received this Word were given power to become children of God.
Examen: Have I realized this great invitation? And answered it? Name three persons I have invited to this Kingdom.