The Lord is at hand, come let us adore Him.
O Sapientia, quae ex ore Altissimi prodiisti,
attingens a fine usque ad finem,
fortiter suaviterque disponens omnia-
veni ad docendum nos viam prudentiae.
O Wisdom, coming forth from the Mouth of the Most High,
reaching from one end to the other,
mightily and sweetly ordering all things-
Come and teach us the way of prudence.
“You, Judah, shall your brothers praise your hand on the neck of your enemies; the sons of your father shall bow down to you.” – Genesis 49:8
REFLECTION – “This text appears to be directed to the Patriarch Judah, indeed but more so that later Judah is meant, the true Confessor who was born of that tribe and who alone is praised by His brothers; of them He says, “I will declare your name to my brothers.”
He is the Lord by nature but a brother by grace; His hands, which He stretched out to an unbelieving people, are on the back of His enemies.
For with those same hands and by that same passion, Christ protected His own, subjugated hostile powers and made subject to Himself, all people who were without faith and devotion.
Of these the Father says to His Son, “And you will rule in the midst of your enemies.”
It was their own wickedness that made them enemies, not Christ’s will. In this there is a great gift of the Lord. Previously, spiritual wickedness generally used to make our neck bend to the yoke of captivity. Thus even David wrote that he felt, in some way, the hands of those who triumphed over him, for he said, “Upon my back sinners have wrought.”
But now spiritual wickedness is subject to the triumph of Christ and to His hands, as it were; that is, wickedness undergoes the affliction of captivity, being subject forever in deeds and in works.
And, it is He indeed, to whom the sons of His Father bow down, when we bow down to Him; for he has permitted us to call upon the Father and, to be subject to the Father, is to be subject to virtue.” – St Ambrose (340-397) One of the original four Doctors of the Latin Church – (The Patriarchs, 4)
PRAYER – Collect:
Creator and Redeemer of human nature,
that Your Word should take flesh
in an ever-virgin womb,
look with favour on our prayers,
that Your only Begotten Son,
having taken to Himself our humanity,
may be pleased to grant us
a share in his divinity.
Who lives and reigns with You
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen