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O Rex Gentium, et desideratus earum, lapisque angularis, qui facis utraque unum: veni, et salva hominem, quem de limo formasti.(O King of the Gentiles and the Desired of them, You Cornerstone that does make both one, come and deliver man, whom You did form out of the dust of the earth.)
The Gospel reading for today is the same as the Canticle of Vespers, the Magnificat, Mary’s tremendous hymn to the power and majesty and great mercy of God, who doesn’t need any of us, yet surrenders to our requests (even the dubious ones) because he loves us, this builder of the world, the one who is the “keystone of the mighty arch of mankind…”
If you’re not sure what that means, recall the Roman arches that have held together for centuries, through war and shattering earthquakes — doorways, and bridges, and all useful, connective things that invite people in, or bring us together.
The Christ is the mighty arch, the weight-bearer, and we are called to be Christ to each other, carry that weight, to carry each other; to reach out, to invite in, to lift up, to connect — to become doors and bridges that the wisdom, and admonishment, and mercy, and grace of the All-in-All might have space to greet, and embrace, and move, and enjoin.
We are called to this, most of us, in small ways, not expected to support the world… just whoever is before us at any given moment. This is the Opus Dei, the Work of God, and we are permitted to share in it, minute by mindful minute.
How well is your arch holding? What bridge, or doorway, or support can you be for someone else, today?
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.