The great evening antiphon for today is: “O King of the Nations, the Desired of all people, cornerstone who makes all one, come and save mankind whom you formed from the clay of the earth”. (Evening Prayer of December 22nd)
This prayer is inspired by the words of the prophets, as Jeremiah proclaimed: “Who would not revere you, King of the Nations, for it is your due. Among all the wisest of the nations, and in all their domain, there is none like you” (Jer 10,7)
The prophet Haggai introduced the idea that all people are longing for this King who will be a Savior. The people who returned to Jerusalem after 70 years of exile were discouraged to discover the Temple razed to the ground. They became more discouraged when they made no headway in their rebuilding, even after years of effort under the leadership of Zerubbabel, governor of Judah.
Haggai was inspired to encourage them saying, “Take courage, Zerubbabel. For thus says the Lord God of hosts: ‘One moment yet, a little while, and I will shake the heavens and the earth, the sea and the dry land. I will shake all the nations, and the desired treasure of the nations will come in, and fill this house with glory” (Haggai 2,4-7)
In this way the Promised One came to be known as the Desired of all nations, and was awaited as the King who saves, and makes all people one. “I come to gather nations of every language; they shall come and see my glory” (Isaiah 66,18)