O Emmanuel

O Emmanuel

Already, Isaiah 7:14 had prophesied that the virgin would be with child and bear a son and shall name him Emmanuel.  Then again, in Matthew 1:23 we read how the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph and told him that what had been said through the prophet would be fulfilled in the Virgin Mary. So it is that Emmanuel, God with us, is the object of our longing; but through the incarnation he has come to dwell among us in a way beyond all our imagining. Isaiah 33:22 had already referred to him as king and lawgiver, but the birth of the Virgin Mary’s Son meant yet more. In his Dogmatic Tome to Flavian, Pope Saint Leo the Great wrote that in the new order there was a new nativity. He who was invisible in his own nature became visible in ours; he who is true God is also true man. In him, the humility of humanity and the loftiness of the godhead both meet. The Advent-Christmas mystery is the mystery of the incarnation of the Son of God so that he may be one with us, sharing in our suffering and death so that we may share in the very life of God who cannot die. So, we pray with utmost confidence and gratitude (veni), come to save us, O Lord our God—and it happens in a way beyond all imagining.

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