Monday of the Fourth Week of Advent: O King of All the Nations

Today’s readings

We hear a similar song from Hannah and Mary today. In fact, some 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 prophet and judge, and helps to restore law, order, and regular religious worship in the land, 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 fashioned from the dust.”

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.

And so we pray, Come, O King of all the nations. Come, be our strength, be the One who leads us in the ways of righteousness, be the joy of every heart that seeks you. Help us to find the peace that only you can bring. Come, Lord Jesus, come quickly and do not delay!

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