Sunday, November 30, 2008

WAITING ON HIM


These prayers serve as the Christmas novena. They are beautiful and ancient prayers, which recall the names entitled to Jesus, the Savior of the world. They are usually called the "O" prayers.

O SAPIENTIA

O Wisdom, which comes forth out of the mouth of the Most High, and reaches from one end to the other, mightily and sweetly ordering all things: Come and teach us the way of prudence.

Wisdom 8:1, 9:4,9,10; Proverbs 7:22; Hebrews 1:1; John 1:3; Ecclesiasticus 34:3.

O Lord Jesus Christ, who are the very Wisdom of God most high,
by whom He made the world, impressing on His creation
the reflection of His own power and goodness;
Who does uphold the world in its being and harmony,
as you reaches from one end to the other
mightily and sweetly ordering all things;
Who did visit God's prophets and servants of old,
giving them ever fuller knowledge of His mind and will;
you in the fullness of time did come forth in the incarnation,
clothing Thyself in our nature and living amid our conditions,
to teach us the way of prudence--
how to use the complex nature you had framed,
how to escape the snares and temptations by which we are surrounded,
how to attain the blessedness which you has prepared for us.
Blessed be your Name for your teaching by word and by example,
for the testimony of your Apostles and the record of the Scriptures,
for the continual guidance of your Spirit and the witness of your Saints.

Come now, we pray to you, by your grace
to your Church and people,
and teach us in our day and need
the way of prudence--
how best to promote your Father's glory,
and extend your kingdom,
and win our perfect life,
as we so pass through things temporal
as not to lose the things eternal.


O ADONAI

O Lord and Ruler of the house of Israel, who appeared unto Moses in a flame of fire in the bush, and gave unto him the Law in Sinai: Come and redeem us with an outstretched arm.

Acts 7:30, 28; Hebrews 12:18-21, 10:16.

O Lord Jesus Christ, who as the Angel of the Lord
did rule and guard God's people of old;
Who did appear to Moses in the burning bush,
that told of your presence hallowing but not consuming,
and of your people's preservation through fiery trials;
Who did give the Law in Sinai
in could and majesty and awe;
You did come to visit mankind oppressed
and did redeem us therefrom
by the victory of your Passion:

Come, we pray to you, now by your grace,
and with your outstretched arm deliver us
from the bondage of evil habits
from the crafts and assaults of Satan,
from the tyranny of the world,
and the disorder into which our nature has fallen
Write in our hearts by your Spirit
the law in obedience to which we shall find our true freedom,
Your law of truth and purity and love.


O RADIX JESSE

O Root of Jesse, who stands for an ensign of the people, at Whom kings shall shut their mouths, unto Whom the Gentiles shall pray: Come and deliver us, and tarry not.

Isaiah 11:1,10,15; Romans 1:3; Matthew 27:19,20.

O Lord Jesus Christ, the new shoot from the hewn down stump of Jesse's line,
in whom all the promises should be fulfilled;
the champion of your people,
to whom the Gentile nations should turn in submission and obedience:
You have come of the seed of David according to the flesh,
being born in obscurity of a maiden of the royal line;
You have set up your holy catholic Church,
commanding your apostles to make disciples of all nations
and to train all peoples in obedience to your holy commandments:

Come now, we pray to you, by you grace, and tarry not,
hasten the manifestation of your kingdom;
grant that your Church may continually be increased
by the gathering in of new children to you,
and perfected by the increasing devotion of those who have been regenerated.


O CLAVIS DAVID

O Key of David, and Scepter of the house of Israel, you that openest and no one shut, and shut and no one open: Come, and loose the prisoner from the prison-house, and him that sits in darkness from the shadow of death.

Isaiah 22:22, 67:7; Revelation 3:7; Luke 1:32; Mark 2:10; Matthew 27:18.

O Lord Jesus Christ, to whom is given the throne and scepter of David
your father over the house of Israel,
that you might extend his kingdom over all peoples:
You did come in our nature,
as the Son of man forgiving sins,
dispelling sickness and loosing bonds:
to you now is committed all authority in heaven and on earth,
and the powers of hell cannot withstand your word:

Come, we pray to you, by your grace,
and through the instrumentality of your Church,
to loosen the prisoner from the chains of sin,
to enlighten with the glad tidings of your word
all who sit in darkness and the shadow of death,
that they may rejoice in the deliverance which you have wrought.


O ORIENS

O Orient, Brightness of the Eternal Light, and Sun of Righteousness: Come, and lighten them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death.

Luke 1:78,79; Malachi 4:2; Wisdom 7:26; Hebrews 1:3; John 1:4,5; Titus 3:4; Luke 7:22; Ephesians 5:8-14.

O Lord Jesus Christ, who are the outshining of your Father's glory,
Light streaming forth from Light:
You did come in the incarnation
to our poor darkened world
as the Sun of Righteousness
bringing healing in your beams,
dispelling noxious influences,
and gladdening man's hearts with the good news
of their Father's kindness and love for man:

Come, we pray to you, now by your grace,
and through your Church let your truth and love shine forth
to all that are in the darkness of sin or ignorance or error;
penetrate the hidden recesses of our hearts,
and enlighten the cruel habitations of the earth.


O REX GENTIUM.

O King of the Gentiles, and their Desire, the Corner-stone, who made both one: Come and save man, whom you have formed out of the dust of the earth.

Acts 17:26; Ephesians 2:14; Isaiah 65:22; Psalm 113:6-8.

O Lord Jesus Christ, for whom all peoples yearn,
even though they know not whom they seek;
You have made of one blood all nations
to dwell on the face of the whole earth;
and you do bind together Jew and Gentile
in the one body of your catholic Church:

Come, we pray to you, and by your truth and grace
raise man whom you did make out of the dust of the earth,
from his low condition,
and set him in your holy Church with the princes,
even with the princes of your people.


O EMMANUEL

O Emmanuel, our King and Lawgiver, the Desire of all nations, and their Saviour: Come and save us, O Lord our God.

Isaiah 8:8, 32:1; Psalm 72; Genesis 69:10; Haggai 2:7; Luke 1:71,74,75.

O Lord Jesus Christ, who was foretold as the king
in whom God would manifest his presence,
Who should reign in righteousness,
bringing peace and happiness to all peoples;
You are yourself indeed Emmanuel,
the very Son and Word of God made man:

Come, we pray to you, by your grace, and reign over us,
so saving us from our spiritual enemies
and from the hand of all that hate us,
that we may serve you without fear
in holiness and righteousness all the days of our life.


O SANCTE SANCTORUM

O Holy of Holies, the spotless mirror of the power of God, and the image of His goodness: Come and blot out iniquity, and bring in everlasting righteousness.

Wisdom 7:26; Daniel 9:24; Colossians 2:9; 2 Corinthians 4:6; John 14:9; 1 John 2:2; Revelation 21:5; 2 Peter 3:13.

O Lord Jesus Christ, promised as the Holy One,
the anointed Priest and Prince,
who should make reconciliation for iniquity
and bring in everlasting righteousness;
You are indeed the Most Holy,
the very Shrine of the Godhead;
You are the spotless mirror of the majesty of God,
and the image of His goodness;
in your face the glory of God shines forth.
You, Jesus Christ the Righteous,
are the propitiation for our sins
and for the whole world:

Come, we pray to you, and put forth the might of your grace,
and destroy the works of the devil,
whom you did vanquish on the cross,
and restore all things to their perfection.
According to your promise we look for new heavens and a new earth,
wherein dwell righteousness.


O PASTOR ISRAEL

O Shepherd of Israel and Ruler of the house of David, whose goings forth have been from of old, from ancient days: Come and feed your people in the strength of the Lord, and reign in judgment and righteousness.

Micah 5:2, 4; Ezekiel 34:16; Isaiah 32:16; Psalm 80:1.

O Lord Jesus Christ, the true Shepherd whom the LORD promised
to set up over His people Israel,
to tend and rule them in judgment and righteousness;
You are the Eternal Son of the Father,
one with Him in majesty and might;
none can pluck out of your hand the sheep
for whom you did lay down your life.

Come, we pray to you, and tend the sheep and lambs of your flock,
protect them from the attacks of the enemy,
and bring them in safety to your everlasting fold.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Perbedaan Mengancam Kita?



Perbedaan seringkali menakutkan kita, dan dari ketakutan ini lahirlah sikap curiga pada pihak lain yang berbeda.

Dalam hal suku atau ras, kita seringkali memandang mereka yang berbeda dengan kita sebagai suku yang lebih rendah derajatnya. Di zaman Hitler orang Jerman menyebut rasnya sebagai ├╝ber alles (di atas semuanya). Orang Itali dengan nada mengejek memandang orang Asia sebagai la gente da fuori (bangsa di luar kita). Orang Cina di Indonesia menyebut suku lain bukan zhongguo ren (bukan Cina). Orang Jawa memandang orang yang tidak selembut mereka sebagai ora njawani (tidak bertindak seperti orang Jawa). Orang Batak juga menyebut suku lain sebagai ndang halak hita do (bukan orang kita).

Dalam hal agama, kita lihat betapa perang salib di abad pertengahan sudah menumpahkan darah tanpa arti, selain hanya menyuburkan kebencian antar agama. Masing-masing menganggap diri sebagai pemegang kebenaran yang turun dari langit. Sampai sekarang orang masih saling curiga dengan orang lain yang berbeda agama. Saling menjegal. Saling memata-matai. Saling menjatuhkan.

Dalam hal seksualitas, perbedaan antar pria dan wanita membuat kedua kubu jenis kelamin ini berseteru. Si pria menuduh wanita sebagai makhluk dengan penis envy, sebaliknya wanita menuduh pria sebagai makhluk yang lack of womb.

Dalam hal tugas dalam kehidupan sehari-hari setiap orang mengklaim bahwa tugasnya, posisinya, dan jabatannyalah yang paling penting yang harus menjadi titik acuan.

Perbedaan, oh...perbedaan. Mengapa engkau begitu ditakuti?

Dengan perbedaan dunia menjadi lebih cerah dan berwarna-warni, karena variatio delectat, perbedaan itu menyukakan hati! Perbedaan memperkaya. Perbedaan saling mengisi. Perbedaan membuat kita rendah hati.

"Ada rupa-rupa karunia, tetapi satu Roh.
Dan ada rupa-rupa pelayanan, tetapi satu Tuhan.
Dan ada berbagai-bagai perbuatan ajaib, tetapi Allah adalah satu yang mengerjakan semuanya dalam semua orang.
Tetapi kepada tiap-tiap orang dikaruniakan penyataan Roh untuk kepentingan bersama"
(IKor 12:4-7).

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Are We the Prodigal or Elder Son?


Dear friends,

The scriptures scholars agree that the parable of the Prodigal Son (Luc 15:11-32) is the Gospel within the Gospel. Why? Because this Gospel is so beautiful and has a very deep message, and I think the message is clear to us: there’s a great joy in heaven when one sinner converts from their sins, also God, depicted as a very kind father in this story, will accept the sinners as what they are, no matter how big and how dense their sins. The message of this parable is crystal clear.

This parable, however, challenges us by posing a question: Are we brave enough to go back to God with all our sinfulness? I think it is not easy to answer this question, because we usually choose to stay in our sinfulness, we reject receiving the mercy of God by living in excessive guilty. Obviously, this is not healthy and it could be the work from the evil one with the false piousness whispered in our mind.

Another interesting part of this parable is about the elder son. He is the good one, he obeys all of his father’s commands, and never trespasses them. But he counts every goodness that he made and compares it with the wickedness of his younger brother, saying: “I have done this and that, but you never pay attention to me. And that wicked son of yours come to you and you celebrate his coming with great feast. What kind of father you are!” The attitude of the elder son is practically ours as well. We tend to count “good things” that we have done and compare them with that of other people, saying: “I have done many things for the house, and you, what have you done. Look, it is me that did this and that. You are bad because your life is like this and that, look at my life, my life is perfect without any blame. Bla-bla-bla…”

Didn’t Jesus say this: “If you do something good, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing; do not sound the trumpet before you so that many people may praise you.” Let us remind the story of the Pharisee and the tax collector praying in the temple. The Pharisee stands, saying: “God, I thank you that I AM NOT LIKE other people: thieves, rogues, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give a tenth of my income.” But the tax collector, standing far off , would not even look up to heaven, saying: ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!” Then Jesus said, “I tell you, this tax collector went down to his home justified rather than that Pharisee.”

Friends, are we the tax collector or the Pharisee?

Are we the younger son that dare going back to God whatever sins we did? Or are we the elder son, the hero, the so-called “sinless” son of God?

It’s all up to us, the choice is ours.