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One of the most popular Advent and Christmas hymns is “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel.” Emmanuel is a Hebrew word meaning “God-with-us.”

The song expresses our longing for God. We are in exile here without Christ; we are lonely and isolated without God. But even today God is with us! We remind ourselves of this every time we pray these words of the Angelus:

“The Word became flesh and dwelt among us.”

We don’t have to be alone. God is present here even today. Our God is not distant and unknowable. He is present among us and working in this world even if we do not have him in the flesh anymore.

What an incredible gift that our God did not remain far off but became one of us. Through his mercy and love, God took on our flesh to be one with us. He shows his love for us by offering us his very life and his presence with us today.

Though we cannot see him in the flesh, we can find comfort in knowing that he is not far off. We can experience his presence in prayer or in adoration before the Blessed Sacrament. We can recognize his presence and working in the world in each moment of our day. We can meet him in the face of strangers and friends that we encounter each day.

God is here today. God is with us.

Angelus Meditation

As you pray the Angelus today, think of the emotional drive behind the song “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel.” Hum the tune in your head. You might even pray the words of the Angelus to that same tune. As you do, consider the hymn’s desperate plea for God to be with us. At the end of your prayer, give thanks that God continues to dwell in you and in your life.

Jared Dees

Author Jared Dees

Jared Dees is the creator of The Religion Teacher, a popular website for religious educators, and the author of Praying the Angelus: Find Joy, Peace, and Purpose in Everyday Life .

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