O Root of Jesse

O Root of Jesse – 19th December

Today, we pray the third of the seven ‘O Antiphons’ leading up to the celebration of the fathomless mystery of the birth of Jesus among us over 2000 years ago:O root of Jesse, set up a sign to the peoples, come to save us, and delay no more.On the first of these seven days, the Church placed on our lips, the plea ‘come and teach us the way of truth’ – on the second day we are called upon to plead ‘come and save us with your outstretched arm (a truly beautiful concept ),  and now today, with still four more days to  go before Christmas Eve,  we are called to  echo the longing of the peoples over the ages, who suffered such anguish in their waiting for the Messiah – yes, we are called to this insistent prayer – ‘come and save us and delay no more.This longing of the ages is expressed so well in one of the Advent hymns:‘Long the ages rolled and slowly to the coming of the Word.  Fervent longings grew more fervent, undismayed by hopes deferred. Weaker spirits sighed and whispered, “Could the Lord of all forget?”While the prophets scanned the portents, And in patience said, “Not yet”.So how do we in this day and age, prepare for this great joy of Jesus birth among us which occurred over 2000 years ago?In answer to this question , I would like to share a few thoughts from an article by one of our English Dominicans written many years ago.  He commences by quoting the Scripture text: “While all things were in quiet silence…thy almighty Word leapt down upon the earth”. Then he goes on to remind us “ In the stillness of the […]

O Radix Jesse – 19th December 2015

 “O Root of Jessewho stand for a sign for the people;before whom kings are silent;whom the nations bessech:Come to deliver us, no longer delay.”  Jesse was the father of David and JESUS is the Son of David.When Jesus was on His missionary travels and one day came to Jericho, a blind man – who heard that is was Jesus, the great healer – called out, “Son of David, have pity on me!” (cf Mk 10:46ff)Jesus called him, and restored his sight immediately.There are a few other Gospel passages where people looking for healing call out to Him as “Son of David.”God’s promise to David was that his descendants would occupy the throne till the Promised One would come.  The angel Gabriel said to Mary, “The Lord God will give Him the throne of His ancestor, David.” (Lk 1:32)     In the antiphon we hear: “… before whom kings are silent and the nations beseesch.” He was not recognised by the ‘kings,’ by the people in authority: but the poor and needy people came to Him.  Those in authority should have known Him, for they knew their Scripture better than the common folk: Isaiah says (11:2): “And the Spirit of the Lordshall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.”  The miracles He worked should have pointed Him out as the Promised Messiah.There is a beautiful passage at the end of the Apocalypse, where Jesus identifies Himself thus: “I am the root and the offspring of David,the bright morning star.” (22:16)He doesn’t say, “I am the Son of God,” or “I am the second Person of the […]