O Rex gentium

Source: District of Asia

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.

There is no such thing as Jew and Greek, slave and free, male and female; for you are all one person in Christ Jesus. But if you thus belong to Christ, you are the issue of Abraham and so heirs by promise.

Christ makes it clear that He unites all in a new dispensation, one which supersedes the old.

The Old Israel cherishes promises and waits for their fulfillment. The New Israel, in its delight that the Messiah has come, often forgets that it, too, must wait for the fulfillment of the promise and that the waiting is terrible, painful frustration. But these changes have already been effected, perfectly, in Christ. The unity, the equality, promises are here: they are real. All that impedes their full realization is just that: their “realization” and discovery in our human hearts. The way to bring about the promise is to live as if it were already here: because it is! If every person did that, even to their own personal cost and detriment, we would see changes in our world and in the Church literally overnight.

There is here also a reality check that is not too palatable to our modern ears, the reminder that we were formed out of clay. Several decades of self-affirming pop psychology in the late 2Oth century may have done their work a bit too well in some of us. The Latin “limus” which is here rather flatteringly rendered as “clay” has the more common sense of “mud, slime, or mire.” The message here is quite clear. The most cursory examination of conscience will reveal how close to our origins we can often slip.