The “Great O” antiphon for December 20 is “O Key of David.”
(See an explanation of the Great O’s in the blog post for December 16.)
From Isaiah 22: 20 – 23
On that day I will call my servant Eliakim son of Hilkiah, and will clothe him with your robe and bind your sash on him. I will commit your authority to his hand, and he shall be a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem and to the house of Judah. I will place on his shoulder the key of the house of David; he shall open, and no one shall shut; he shall shut, and no one shall open. I will fasten him like a peg in a secure place, and he will become a throne of honour to his ancestral house.
KEY OF DAVID – the key to whatever meaning unifies our lives, the key that can open us to infinite possibilities. The key to the prisons that confine us and to the doors that keep us safe. The worst prisons are the invisible ones. There is not a lot of security in the world – around us, competition for what we want, need, or feel driven to take. Our lives are fragile and vulnerable and yet this antiphon provides a calming – you open and none can close, you close and none can open. Within apparent chaos there is order. Within death, new life. The power of God is more than all the evil that we can do to one another, or to this world. In spite of us, God will be God to us. We can doubt it, we can blind ourselves to it, but in the end, we are images of God. Born of God, like unto God. Even the worst of us, a spark of the Divine. But we are fragile and vulnerable. All of us worship in mystery, be it God as Father, as Mother, as Scripture, as consecrated Bread and Wine, in the wonders of nature, hidden in hearts, or as the Cloud of Unknowing. Come – let us rejoice in the small fragments that reveal the loving God in whatever manner and share with one another. All of us are seated in darkness, but the lock in the door is turning – sweet sound! And tomorrow He comes and we will be free! Come, overcome us, pull us out of our inner prisons of mind and heart, break down the walls of isolation and open for us new vistas of grace. Maranatha, come Lord Jesus. Free us. And after the darkness comes the dawning. Come Lord Jesus, Ero Cras! I shall be there tomorrow. (Sr. Doreen McGuff)
From “O Come, O Come Emmanuel”:
O come, O Key of David, come,
and open wide our heavenly home
make safe the way that leads on high,
and close the path to misery
Rejoice, Rejoice, Emmanuel shall come to you, O Israel.