Today’s Antiphon, O Adoni translates Lord. It is the word used to replace YHWH, as the Word represented by those four letters is too sacred to speak. Lord implies ruler, King, and authority. It demands respect, and it demands obedience. Today’s gospel is that where an angel appears to Joseph and commands him not to be afraid and to take Mary as is wife, who has conceived through the holy spirit, and name the child Jesus. That command was contrary to Joseph’s intent; he had planned to quietly divorce her. Joseph though was obedient to his Lord. He placed the will of God above his own desires. He was open to, and a willing participant in God’s plan for salvation. That obedience, even if at a personal cost, is perhaps one of the lessons of Saint Joseph. He learns the way to fatherhood through listening to the Father of all Creation. Both Mary and Joseph were visited by an Angel. With Mary, there is an unwavering obedience. With Joseph, his visit by an angel comes after his doubts about the Mother of God. One highlights the Immaculate Mary, the other the human Joseph. Joseph, human but open and receptive to that message from God. His is the ability to bend to Gods will, always listening and obedient at any cost.
Today’s Antiphon, O Adoni
O Adonai, and leader of the House of Israel,
who appeared to Moses in the fire of the burning bush
and gave him the law on Sinai:
Come and redeem us with an outstretched arm.
For the second day of the Christmas Novena:
HAIL, and blessed be the hour and moment At which the Son of God was born Of a most pure Virgin At a stable at midnight in Bethlehem In the piercing cold At that hour vouchsafe, I beseech Thee, To hear my prayers for a personal obedience to the Lord, a willingness to listen to His voice and to obey his commands as Joseph did so that His kingdom may come without any interference from me. Through Jesus Christ and His most Blessed Mother. Amen