O King of the Gentiles and the desire thereof, Thou cornerstone that makes both one, come and deliver mankind, whom Thou didst form out of clay.
The verses that inspire this antiphon begged to be read in entirety. And truly, all the context around them. My Christmas list, already quite lofty, insists on going further…extending out beyond myself and my little world into all of humanity, asking for unity in the Cornerstone of Christ.
“And I will move all nations: AND THE DESIRED OF ALL NATIONS SHALL COME: and I will fill this house with glory: saith the Lord of hosts.”
Aggeus (Haggai) 2:8
“For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and breaking down the middle wall of partition, the enmities in his flesh: Built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone:”
Ephesians 2:14, 20
My Bible had that section of Haggai in all caps, which thankfully makes me read it over and over. We are all so very different. And yet, we all desire the same things. Our differences are beautiful. He made us unique and talented in so many ways that only fit well together.
It reminds me of Ephesians, chapter 4, worthy of being read in entirety. How often we gloss over this, even within Christianity, assigning ourselves rights, under the title of differences, that only He can give. Look no further than the broken pieces of the Church, laying scattered all over the world, barely recognizable in some cases when held up to who she is meant to be.
At Mass this morning, I couldn’t stop staring at the Credo (the Creed), again necessary to be read in entirety. It was written so many years ago with the purpose of holding us together in one faith, even as we disperse all over the world to apply our unique talents and gifts to living that faith out.
I believe in one God, the Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible. And I believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God. Born of the Father beyond all ages. God of God, Light of Light, true God of true God. Begotten, not made, of one substance with the Father. By whom all things were made. Who for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven. And he became flesh by the Holy Spirit of the Virgin Mary: and was made man. He was also crucified for us, suffered under Pontius Pilate, and was buried. And on the third day he rose again, according to the Scriptures. He ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead. And of his kingdom there will be no end. And I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and Giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son. Who together with the Father and the Son is adored and glorified, and who spoke through the prophets. And one holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church. I confess one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. And I await the resurrection of the dead. And the life of the world to come. Amen. (Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed – Roman Missal)
It’s tempting to get discouraged. I can’t fix the disunity. A very brief glance at the world today proves that thousands and thousands of years of human effort alone gets us nothing but division. But this antiphon isn’t asking for me to fix it alone. It’s calling me to do the one thing I can certainly do – call on Him. He, the One Who created us, is the only One Who can truly unify us. One Lord, one faith, one baptism. One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in us all.
It doesn’t mean I get to do nothing but wait for Him to fix it. All change starts internally and I must start that right now. But it’s important to remember when finally reaching out beyond ourselves, as we are called to do…unity cannot be achieved by trying to make you more like me, or by trying to make me more like you. This can only be done when we each give our “Fiat” to make us like Him. When I am like Christ and you are like Christ, then we will be one.
And even though it feels so impossible, I know it is not because He prayed for it Himself.
O Wisdom, Order, and Prudence. I need You.
O Adonai, Leadership, Laws, and Redemption. I need You.
O Root of Jesse, Ensign, and Silence. I need You.
O Key of David, Freedom from death. Fiat. I need You.
O Day-Spring, Light and Proof and Faith. I need You.
O King, Cornerstone and Unity. We need you.