Toronto, Canada| 416-226-2201|convent@ssjd.ca

Posted on: December 4th, 2021

By. Sr. Doreen, SSJD.

Sister Doreen’s Reflections

O Radix Jesse (Branch of Jesse)

O Branch of Jesse, standing as a sign among the nations (Isaiah 11:10); (Romans 15:12) all kings will keep silence before you (Isaiah 52:15); and all peoples will summon you to their aid:  Come, set us free and delay no more. (Habakkuk 2:3; Hebrews 10:37)

“O” – a call of longing and wonder to Jesus with a particular name; a praise for the wonder of that name; and a request for a particular need.

We ask God to come as the Branch of Jesse to deliver us into love and out of fear and oppression – to bring us to freedom.

A reflection on O Branch of Jesse

Now the green blade rises from the buried grain.  We often feel like we are outside, but we are never outside of God’s love.  O branch of Jesse – the promise of salvation and hope for all peoples.  Always a faithful God confronts our faithlessness and loves us back to life.  There is hope for a tree, if it is cut down, that it will sprout again and that the tender branch will bud and become a shoot that will not cease.  Though the root grows old in the earth, and its stump dies in the ground, yet at the scent of water, it will bud, and put forth branches like a young plant. (The book of Job).  Out of the old root there is a new greening, a new birth.  Will we welcome the Word and carry it to the world, so that  God might be born in our hearts and in our world also?  This tiny Branch will break down walls and barriers.  This is the first day, the first antiphon, in which we add some special urgency to our daily plea of ‘come’.  We add the words, “ and do not delay.”  The most casual glance at the world’s leaders and the state of things today will reveal the fullness of the Messiah’s role as a rallying point for all, before Whom rulers shall be silent, is not just around the corner.  We affirm that by our urgency, by begging God to hurry!  O come and free us and do not make us wait.

O Clavis David (Key of David)

O Key of David, and sceptre of the house of Israel, you open and none can shut, you shut and none can open (Isaiah 22:22): Come, and free the captives from prison (Isaiah 9:6; 42:7, Psalm107:10, 14; Luke 1:79)

“O” – a call of longing and wonder to Jesus with a particular name; a praise for the wonder of that name; and a request for a particular need.

We ask God to come as the Key of David to bring us out of slavery into freedom and open our hearts to your love.

Reflection on O 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 there is 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.  Come, O Key of David, come.

Image Credit: The Great O Antiphons by Linda Henke
http://anccthecall.org/2017/12/09/the-great-os/linda-henke-great-o-antiphons-800×186/#main