Wednesday, Third Week of Advent (Dec 18, O Lord of Lords)
Blessed Ember Wednesday!
The traditional Mass for Advent’s Ember Wednesday is also called the “Golden Mass”.
In medieval times, the first letters of this Mass were written in gold
-sometimes the entire Mass–
and golden vestments were worn,
because the focus was on the golden mystery of our faith:
the Annunciation, when God first became Man in Mary’s womb.
The Golden Mass was held in early morning darkness,
lit by the golden glow of candlelight,
as we celebrated the entrance of the Light of the World into our darkness.
When the lectionary was revised,
this Gospel was transferred to the 4th Sunday of Advent for Year B–
(we’re in Year A this year, so we’ll hear a repeat of today’s Gospel).
Today’s first reading, however, does hearken back to the Introit of the Golden Mass.
May your prayer and sacrifices during these Ember Days
bless and sanctify the winter season for you and for the whole world.
O Lord of Lords
And Leader of the house of Israel
Who appeared to Moses in the bush’s flaming fire,
And gave to him the Law of Sinai
Come stretch out Your mighty hand to set us free
They will fight against the Lamb but the Lamb will conquer them,
for He is the Lord of Lords
(see also Isaiah 11:4-5, 33:22, Genesis 3, Exodus 3, Exodus 19-20,
Deuteronomy 10:17, I Timothy 6:16, Psalm 136:3, Micah 5:2, Matthew 2:6)
Christ our King is coming,
He is the Lamb foretold by John.
Grant, we pray, Almighty God,
that we, who are weighted down from of old
by slavery beneath the yoke of sin,
may be set free by the newness
of the long-awaited Nativity
of Your Only-Begotten Son.
Who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
Jeremiah 23:5-8 (God will raise a righteous shoot to David to save His people)
Psalm 72: 1-2, 12-13, 18-19 “Justice shall flourish in His time, and fullness of peace forever”
+ Matthew 1:18-25 (an angel tells Joseph to take Mary as his wife, and he obeys)
A righteous shoot has come
from David’s line
Joseph…was a righteous man
As leader of his household
he ruled wisely,
being led, himself,
by God’s command.
He saved the land,
made it secure,
by saving Christ,
with a prompt obedience.
He received the burning bush
(the Virgin Mary, great with Child)
into his home
and with a father’s care
he named the Son of God.
In my leadership, am I myself under obedience to God?
Do I reverence those in my care as St. Joseph reverenced Jesus and Mary?