Today, the last of the "O Antiphons" of the Advent Liturgy of the Hours uses the title "Emmanuel". The name Emmanuel means "God-with-us". We welcome the God who so loves humankind and all of creation, the God who choses to live with us and totally experience our humble condition. O, the wonder of the Incarnation!
Our Sr. Moira Quinn created the images appearing here each of these last days. She explained the features of today's illumination. The hand is the hand of God with fingers parted as is the custom of a rabbi with hands raised in blessing over a congregation. The shape is like that of the "Y" in Yahweh. Two fingers bear a dove, sign of the Holy Spirit; two bear the tablets of the Ten Commandments; and the thumb has been fashioned into an image of Mother and the infant Jesus. The palm holds the Star of David - the lineage of Jesus. And on the wrist, a heart at the place where we commonly take our pulse, where we feel the ebb and flow of life within us.
Scripture tells us that we are held in the palm of God's hand, a metaphor of the initimacy of God's love and presence with us. At Christmas we acknowledge this presence and welcome, yet again, our Incarnate God into our world.
Scripture Readings: Isaiah 7:14
Drawing by Sr. Moira Quinn, OSsR