“O King of all the nations, the only joy of every human heart: O Keystone of the mighty arch of man, come and save the creature you fashioned from the dust.”
Today’s O Antiphon emphasizes Jesus as the King of all nations. Being a member of a nation can provide a person with a profound sense of identity, but also a deeply rooted sense of what makes that person different from people of other nations. That human dynamic in general relates to other types of group membership, like in political parties, families, social cliques, and numerous others. The sixth O Antiphon should indicate for us that while we may have differences, we are all ultimately fashioned from the same dust. We all share the same source of existence, and hopefully we are all headed toward the same afterlife. Sadly, human beings do put up profound obstacles that by their nature block the unity humanity was fashioned by the Creator to enjoy. The most profound example of this would be fundamental differences in what we believe about that Creator. From a Catholic mindset, we cannot live together as though every different belief about the Creator is right. If we Christians truly hope to enjoy the afterlife with all people, we must dedicate ourselves to the roles Christ gives us in His ministry of reconciling all people to Himself. Beyond that, all we can do is hope for the salvation of all people through Christ however Christ may do that, His ways being far beyond our own. Now, given that we were all fashioned by the same Creator from the same dust and are hopefully all headed toward the same afterlife, wouldn’t you like to be as free as possible from allowing differences to keep you apart from others needlessly? As Christmas approaches, start small and think of someone you avoid simply because that person annoys you. Next, remind yourself that you and that person share the same source of existence. Then, imagine being with that person in Heaven, a reality free of disorder in which nobody will annoy anyone. Last, ponder how close to Heaven you might be able to get with that person through faith in the One who unites all nations. Admittedly, such an endeavor will always have its limits in this life. However, if we are hoping for Heaven in the end anyway, why not try to get as close as possible with each other in the meantime?