“Faith gives joy. When God is not there, the world becomes desolate, & everything becomes boring, & everything is completely unsatisfactory. It’s easy to see today how a world empty of God is also increasingly consuming itself, how it has become a wholly joyless world. The great joy comes from the fact that there is this great love, & that is the essential message of faith. You are unswervingly loved. … Unbelief, too, is a heavy burden & in my opinion even more so than faith is. Faith makes man light. This can be seen in the Church Fathers, especially in monastic theology. To believe means we become like angels, they say. We can fly, because we no longer weigh so heavy in our own estimation.” –Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger
The last of the great antiphons: O Emmanuel! Advent culminates all of Israel’s hopes, and the hope of all nations, in One who is to come, and who has come to us through Mary’s immaculate womb. There is often so little room in our hearts. But the Great Antiphons of this last week of Advent help us to prepare a place for Jesus Christ, so that He might lay upon the straw of all our desires.
Did Jesus comes as a baby like we all came into this world, because we are always children at heart?
The name “Emmanuel” means “God with us.” This antiphon reminds us of the incredible reality that our Supreme God and Creator truly did become man. The Second Person of the Holy Trinity – God the Son – became Incarnate because of His unconditional love for us and His desire to save us. Though difficult to fathom, the truth is that the Ruler of the Universe, the Alpha & Omega, the eternal God, united Himself to a human nature & entered this world in the most humbling way: as a babe in swaddling clothes. God as man was then cared for by His mother Mary. He required diaper changes & had to learn to walk & talk just like we do. God being with us, also allowed Himself to suffer as we do. At the end of his life, Jesus Christ freely accepted humiliation, the cruelest form of torture, abandonment by friends, the excruciating pain of crucifixion and death in order to redeem the world and bring salvation to us all. What an awesome reminder of the love God has for us and of how ever-grateful we should be for all God has done for us.