O Oriens

Source: District of Asia

Dec. 21. O rising Dawn, Radiance of the Light eternal and Sun of Justice: Come, and enlighten those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death.

Jeremiah (25, 5) and Zachariah (3, 8) use the noun ‘Sprout’ as a title of the Messiah.  The noun is also used in a messianic context to designate Zorobabel, the restorer of Jerusalem and of the Temple, after the Exile (Zach. 6, 12).  The Vulgate, in these passages, after the LXX reads “Sunrise” instead of “Sprout”.  Of this appellation we find reflection in the Canticle of Zachary: “The merciful heart of our God has bidden the heavenly Sun to rise upon us” (Luke: 1, 78).

The fourth Antiphon designates the Messiah-Sunrise with an attribute of the divine Wisdom: “The reflection of the everlasting light”, or “the glow that radiates from the eternal light” (Wisd. 7, 26).  In the same line of thought we find the title “Sun of Justice” or righteousness, taken from the Vulgate rendering of Mal. 4, 2.

During His public ministry Christ has called himself “the light of the world” (John 8, 12).  In the earliest Christian theology Christ was referred to as “the radiance of the divine majesty” (Hebr. 1, 3).