After months of the California drought, the rain is coming down hard as I snuggle in a warm blanket with the space heater at my side and the ritual morning coffee keeping my body warm.
We are now approaching that season of nine days leading to Christmas. To the Filipino, it is Simbang Gabi, a novena of Masses that prepares us to receive the Lord Jesus at Christmas. For those who pay close attention to liturgy, the O Antiphons are quickly approaching. Whether it is in liturgy or in cultural celebrations, we are preparing to encounter a young woman. The Greeks rendered this young woman as almah. It’s a translation that means young woman or virgin. She becomes the momentous sign spoken of in the prophet Isaiah that a young woman, or more accurately, a virgin, will bear a son and name him Emmanuel. This is the one whom we journey with to the Word becoming flesh. This is the one that star lanterns and antiphons guide us to contemplate and meet. Jesus Christ who comes to us through the virgin. Happy feast days to all!