Saturday of the Third Week of Lent: O King of all the Nations

Today’s readings

O 6kingWe hear a similar song from Hannah and Mary today. In fact, many Biblical scholars suggest that the song of Mary we heard in today’s Gospel is a restatement of the song of Hannah that we have in today’s psalm. Whether or not that is true, it is clear that both women give birth to a child by the grace of God, and both women’s sons are destined for greatness. Samuel’s strength is a foreshadowing of the strength of Jesus Christ who will overcome sin and death.

Samuel becomes a great king, but it is Jesus who becomes King of all the Nations, which is the title of Jesus we celebrate in the “O Antiphons” today. The verse from vespers prays,

O King of all the nations, the only joy of every human heart; O Keystone of the mighty arch of man, come and save the creature you formed from the dust.

And our verse from “O Come, O Come Emmanuel” sings:

O come, Desire of nations, bind
In one the hearts of all mankind;
Bid Thou our sad divisions cease,
And be Thyself our King of Peace.

Today we anxiously await the strength of Christ, King of all the Nations, the only joy of every human heart. He alone can save us from our sins. He alone can unify the hearts of all humankind, putting to an end, once and for all, the sad divisions that keep us from the communion we were always meant to have with one another. Lord Jesus, King of Peace, King of all the Nations, come quickly and do not delay!

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