The “O Antiphons” have been part of the Church’s liturgical prayer since the 8th or 9th centuries. They are scripturally based short prayers that are recited or chanted during Vespers of the Liturgy of the Hours. Each antiphon highlights a title for the Messiah and a Messianic prophecy of Isaiah. They begin on December 17 and continue until December 23.
“O Wisdom, O holy Word of God, you govern all creation with your strong yet tender care.
Come and show your people the way to salvation.”
Wisdom is the foundation of right living, of knowing our truth, of holiness. We live in a time when divisions and chaos fill our nation, our churches, our human community, and harm the earth itself. Conspiracy theories and misinformation twist rational thinking. We need wisdom to emerge from this harmful confusion and contradiction. Our spirits long for insight and the ability to choose truth and reject lies. How can we see the world with clear eyes? Where do we find integrity to guide our actions? The cry “Come” is repeated in the liturgy again and again, insistent and hope-filled. “Come and show your people the way.”
Fill us with your wisdom and guide me us into living with integrity.
Reflect on your inner questions. Consider the teachings of Jesus and search for the wisdom to make choices that align with truth.
God is the source of your life in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification and redemption.
1 Corinthians 1:30
But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. James 3:17
The wisdom the Holy Spirit grants is the grace of being able to see things through God’s eyes. It is seeing the world, situations, problems, everything, with the eyes of God.
It is Jesus who stirs in you the desire to do something great with your lives, the will to follow an ideal, the refusal to allow yourselves to be ground down by mediocrity, the courage to commit yourselves humbly and patiently to improving yourselves and society, making the world more human and more fraternal.
Pope John Paul II
Jesus never asked anyone to form a church, ordain priests, develop elaborate rituals and institutional cultures, and splinter into denominations. His two great requests were that we “love one another as I have loved you” and that we share bread and wine together as an open channel of that interabiding love.
Jesus was a teacher of wisdom who regularly used the classic form of wisdom speech to teach a subversive and alternative wisdom.
Even those who have renounced Christianity and attack it, in their inmost being still follow the Christian ideal, for hitherto neither their subtlety nor the ardor of their hearts has been able to create a higher ideal of man and of virtue than the ideal given by Christ of old.
People talk about imitating Christ, and imitate Him in the little trifling formal things, such as washing the feet, saying His prayer, and so on; but if anyone attempts the real imitation of Him, there are no bounds to the outcry with which the presumption of that person is condemned.
We don’t receive wisdom; we must discover it for ourselves after a journey that no one can take for us or spare us.
It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.
Henry David Thoreau
Wisdom comes from facing what you do not yet understand.
Shannon L. Alder
There is a wisdom of the Head, and there is a wisdom of the Heart.
Wisdom is knowing what to do next; virtue is doing it.
David Starr Jordan