O REX GENTIUM
Today we look to the coming of the one who was not only the Messiah or Christ, the long awaited Anointed One of Israel, descended from David’s line, but the king of all nations. Israel’s salvific role with respect to the nations is voiced by many of the prophets. Isaiah speaks of all nations coming to Jerusalem that they might be instructed in the ways of the Lord (Isa 2:5). Zechariah and Malachi tell of a future day when God’s kingship will be acknowledged by all the nations (Zech 14:9,16,17; Mal 1:14). In a vision during the night at a time when Israel was enduring persecution, Daniel saw one like a "Son of Man," coming on the clouds of heaven and presented before God, the Ancient of Days. This Son of Man was given dominion over all nations and an eternal kingship, and all nations served him (Dan 7:13-14). Daniel’s language is echoed in the New Testament with respect to Jesus. In the Book of Revelation, Jesus, the victorious Lamb of God, the Word of God is acclaimed King of Kings and Lord of lords (Rev19:16). In this Advent season, let us pray that his kingship will be realized ever more fully in our lives and his kingdom, in our world.
O King of nations,
O King of all peoples, Whose reign embraces all and excludes no one, Come.
O King of all peoples, Come, come into a world that makes distinctions among peoples and creates divisions among nations. Come, break down the barriers that we have created, And gather us together as one family of humankind.
O King of all peoples, Come, come into a world that has become its own judge, that determines for itself what is right and acceptable, and what is not. Come, for we need so desperately to walk by your light and not our own.
O King of all peoples, Come. We are among those whom you have gathered into your kingdom, yet we have given our homage to so much that is not of you. Help us to recognize who or what it is we serve, and free us from its bondage.
O King of all peoples, We pray daily for the coming of your kingdom. Help us to live in such a way that it might be ever more fully realized in our lives, and in our world.
Come, do not delay.
S. Anne Elizabeth Sweet, OCSO