Voices ever ancient, ever new. Advent: 23 December 2013.

O Emmanuel,
King and Lawgiver,
desire of the nations, Savior of all people:
Come and set us free, Lord our God.

“When they came on the eighth day to circumcise the child, they were going to call him Zechariah after his father, but his mother said in reply, “No. He will be called John.” (Luke 1:59-60)

In commenting upon these verse from today’s Mass Readings, Saint Bede the Venerable writes:

“John means “the grace of God” or “in whom there is grace.” By this name are expressed the entire extent of the grace of the gospel dispensation which he was to proclaim, and especially the Lord himself, through whom this grace was to be granted to the world….

As to his subsequent declaration and confirmation of the name of John, and the opening of Zechariah’s mouth and his speaking, blessing God, it is surely evident that once the grace of the new covenant was manifested by the apostles, a large number of priests also became obedient to the faith.” (Homilies on the Gospels, 2)

Almighty ever-living God,
as we see how the Nativity of Your Son
according to the flesh draws near,
we pray that to us, Your unworthy servants,
mercy may flow from Your Word,
Who chose to become flesh of the Virgin Mary
and establish among us His dwelling,
Jesus Christ our Lord.
Who lives and reigns with You
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

Glory to You Father, Son and Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning is now
and will be forever. Amen. Alleluia!