In the Congo, we sing an Advent song called "Venez Divin Messie" (O Come, Divine Messiah). The title of the song alone makes me want to sing aloud! Being born in a French-speaking region in the Congo (this is why my song choice is in French), I recall that the sister teaching religion classes at school made sure that we children learned the words by heart. Its melody helped us pray; the text itself was rich and meaningful.
"Venez Divin Messie" was among the first religious songs that I learned, and as far as I remember, it was also my first Advent song! Growing up at school, we were taught to observe all the liturgical seasons and to live according to the message the Church would share throughout the year. Although some of the religious concepts we learned back then were a bit hard to understand, the singing was something tangible and made us kids happy — and the religious sister understood that very well.
To read all the lyrics of this wonderful song, visit: paris.catholique.fr/venez-divin-messie.html.
But I would like to offer some personal reflections on the words of the refrain:
Venez Divin MessieNous rendre espoir et nous sauver!Vous êtes notre vie!Venez, venez, venez!Venez Divin Messie/O Come, Divine Messiah — How good it is to call upon the name of the Lord, to invite Him into our lives as the leader who comes to show us the way that leads to the Father.
Nous rendre espoir et nous sauver/To give us hope and to redeem us —Hope is needed in our lives. As a matter of fact, to have with us the Lord who is Hope in itself is a reminder that the life He gives is greater than the disappointments that can lock us down. As the Saviour, He comes to redeem us from sin and to grant us new life. What a sacrifice! Love to the full.
Vous êtes notre vie, venez/You are our life, come! — The Lord is our life. He said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” In Him we have life and are commissioned to go out and share this life with others as well. What a beautiful and wonderful mission! But it demands that we remain connected to Him.
As we experience Advent, let us prepare ourselves to welcome the perfect gift, Jesus.
Fr. Dominique Mukonda is a priest of the Congregation of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (CICM).