I love these late days of Advent. The expectation of the Savior is heightening, the time of deliverance is at hand, the Lord is near. During these days, we sing the “O Antiphons:” the call for Christ to come and visit us under his many titles. Yesterday was “O Sapientia” or “O Wisdom.” Today is “O Adonai” or “O Sacred Lord.” The antiphon for Vespers this evening prays: “O sacred Lord of ancient Israel, who showed yourself to Moses in the burning bush, who gave him the holy law on Sinai mountain: come, stretch out your mighty hand to set us free.” We pray for the Lord of our salvation to come quickly and not delay.
This was the message Joseph received in his dream. No, the child to be born was not a random child born out of wedlock. He was instead the hope of the nations, the Lord of Lords, the one who would save his people from their sins. Just as Isaiah foretold one who would be called “the LORD our justice,” so Joseph would name his child Jesus, a name which means “the LORD is salvation.” We await the coming of our Savior who is our salvation, our justice, our hope of eternal life. He was long desired of every nation, and he is needed in our hearts today.
It was necessary for Joseph to set aside his plans for his life so that salvation could come to all the world. His decision to dismiss Mary quietly was a just one, considering he could have exposed her to shame. But even that just decision was not God’s will. Joseph went to God in the stillness of his heart, and was open to his angel’s message in a dream. Openness to God’s plans is necessary for all of us if we would be one with the Lord.
And so we pray, come O Sacred Lord, do not delay. Fill our hearts with your presence and come to us with your great salvation. Free us from our slavery to sin, open our hearts to your will for us, and bring us into your presence. Come Lord Jesus, come quickly and do not delay!