O Emmanuel,
Rex et legifer noster,
expectatio gentium,
et Salvator earum:
veni ad salvandum nos,
Domine, Deus noster.

IS 7-14; 33-22; MT 1- 23

Two days before Christmas, the Liturgy names Christ in the most perfect way: Emmanuel, God with us: It’s the supreme name, holding all the other titles by which the Church, admiring the Event, deeply touched, contemplates  the mistery about our Saviour. The name “ Emmanuel” allows to see the Christmas Event  in all Its glory and the Liturgy is going to delve this contemplation into all  the  Christmas time.
     The biblical origin of this title is in prophet Isaia’s prophecy: “ Here you , the Virgin will conceive and will give birth to a Son named Emmanuel” (IS 7-14) These are the words pronounced by the angel to Joseph, telling him that “ What’s conceived into her comes out from the Holy Spirit” (MT 1-20) . The main title is follown by “king, legislator, hope and salvation”, which are summary of the other antiphons, a christological summary ending by a very christian invocation: “ Come and preserve us, o God , our Lord”. It’s a statement of belief, over the meaning of Isaia’s prophecy: Emmanuel is God, our Lord indeed.
     This antiphon, with the expression “ Salvation to the people” ( expectatio gentium) brings back to mind  the universalistic meaning of Christmas and to all the people as a community; the text repeats the first plural person ( our king, come and preserve us ) and it reminds God become man to  create a new family where God is the Father and we are brothers and sisters.

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