Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Reflection on O Antiphons, O Root of Jesse

O Root of Jesse, standing as a sign among the peoples; before you kings will shut their mouths, to you the nations will make their prayer: Come and deliver us, and delay no longer.

Our Lord comes to us as an infant. He draws us to Himself just as all are drawn to a newborn baby. They are cute. They are full of joy, innocence, they exuberate happiness and purity. Now that the day of the birth of Our Lord is less than a week away and it is of the utmost importance for us to re-recognize why it is that he is coming to us.

Jesus while on Earth preaches and teaches to us how we should live out our life. We are given the Sermon on the Mount, where we receive the Beatitudes; different Parables and situations of great charity and mercy. He teaches us how to live our lives centered on love of neighbor and love of self without being selfish in our actions. He brings hope to humanity with his love, His unconditional love.

The Root of Jesse, what is the Root of Jesse? Who is Jesse? Jesse is the Father of the King of Israel, David. The Root of Jesse is the lineage of this family, which we heard in the Gospel Reading from Matthew on Monday. In Isaiah, the prophet talks a sprout that shall spring forth from the stump of Jesse and from his roots a bud shall blossom. That blossom from the bud of the root of Jesse is the crucified Christ. He is nailed to the cross for all to see. The image of Christ crucified upon the hill of Calvary is like that of a Standard that a soldier carries in war time so that the soldiers know where to go. Christ, as a standard bearer shows us where we should be running to. He is the Sign that stands among the people.

Before you kings will shut their mouths: in the mystery of the Cross, all are silent. In Isaiah 52 the prophet tells us that the Servant shall be raised high and will be greatly exalted. From this exaltation he will startle many nations and kings shall stand speechless. The glory of the Cross has brought for us the possibility of Salvation. This should strike us all dumb, like that of Zachariah in the temple. The glory of the Lord shines before us and we cannot believe it, and are thusly stricken dumb without words.

To you the nations will make their prayer: In recognizing the beauty and love that happened upon in the crib in Bethlehem, the love of God to humanity; in recognizing that same beauty in the glory of the Cross. The Love of God should be mirrored in us; through the love of our neighbor. Our prayer is out of love. We make our prayer through the Christ child because he is Love. He is our prayer. He is all that we try to emulate in life.

Come and deliver us, and delay no longer: In the Book of Revelation Ch 22: 16, 20 “I am the Root and offspring of David.” “Yes, I am coming soon!”

​ God becomes Flesh so that he might be sacrificed, to die for us. This supreme act of love opens up the possibility for us of Salvation. The whole reason for Advent is to prepare for the coming of the Lord; the whole purpose of the coming of our Lord is to prepare us for his eventual sacrifice, ultimately the sacrifice of His death. It is all out of Love that God does this for us.




The Lord our King is drawing near, O come let us Adore Him.

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