17 December — O Wisdom ...

O Wisdom,
O holy Word of God, You govern all creation with Your strong yet gentle care. Come and show Your people the way to salvation.

“You, Judah, shall your brothers praise your hand on the neck of your enemies; the sons of your father shall bow down to you.” (Genesis 49:8.)

Saint Ambrose of Milan offers the following insight on this verse from today’s First Reading:

“This text appears to be directed to the patriarch Judah, indeed, but more so that later Judah is meant, the true confessor who was born of that tribe and who alone is praised by his brothers; of them he says, “I will declare your name to my brothers.” He is the Lord by nature but a brother by grace; his hands, which he stretched out to an unbelieving people, are on the back of his enemies. For with those same hands and by that same passion Christ protected his own, subjugated hostile powers, and made subject to himself all people who were without faith and devotion. Of these the Father says to his Son, “And you will rule in the midst of your enemies.” It was their own wickedness that made them enemies, not Christ’s will. In this there is a great gift of the Lord. Previously, spiritual wickedness generally used to make our neck bend to the yoke of captivity. Thus even David wrote that he felt in some way the hands of those who triumphed over him, for he said, “Upon my back sinners have wrought.” But now spiritual wickedness is subject to the triumph of Christ and to his hands, as it were; that is, wickedness undergoes the affliction of captivity, being subject forever in deeds and in works. And it is he indeed to whom the sons of his Father bow down, when we bow down to him; for he has permitted us to call upon the Father, and to be subject to the Father is to be subject to virtue.” (The Patriarchs, 4)

O God,
Creator and Redeemer of human nature,
Who willed
that Your Word should take flesh
in an ever-virgin womb,
look with favor on our prayers,
that Your only Begotten Son,
having taken to Himself our humanity,
may be pleased to grant us
a share in his divinity.
Who lives and reigns with You
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

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