SOME OLD TESTAMENT BACKGROUND
With righteousness he shall judge the poor, and decide with equity for the meek of the earth; and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips he shall slay the wicked. Righteousness shall be the girdle of his waist, and faithfulness the girdle of his loins.
The Lord is our judge, the Lord is our ruler, the Lord is our king; he will save us.
This is the old chant for "O Adonai". You can listen to it HERE.
Captain of the house of Israel,
who didst appear to Moses in the flame of the burning bush,
and gavest him the law on Sinai:
Come and deliver us with thine outsretched arm.
Jeremiah 23:5-8; Matthew 1:18-25
HOME FROM EXILE:
Even people who like travelling say, "How good it is to be home." This is much more the case for those who have been forcibly driven out of their homes or even deported. In our own time we are familiar with the sight of wandering, homeless refugees.
In today's first reading, the prophet Jeremiah promises that God will give the Israelites a new king, a good king, unlike the previous ones who had been responsible for the people's hardships, including their exile. It is said of the new king that he will bring the house of Israel back from all the lands to which thy were banished. "They shall again live on their own land."
In celebrating the season of Advent, the Church helps us to come back home from our exile, our state of being away from God, of being lost in a world of greed, violence and selfishness.
No matter how well life goes for us, or how well adjusted to it we become, in this world we will always have a sense of exile from our true and lasting home. In fact our REAL exile is self-imposed whenever we try to organize our life around something other than the Lord Jesus Christ.
By using the Advent season to point us day after day to the coming of Jesus, the Church tries to make sure that we are focussed on our true home. That true home is, of course, life in eternity with God; yet that same life bursts in upon us here and now wherever Jesus is allowed to be king over our lives.