The Antiphons of Advent

"I will place the key of the House of David on his shoulder." (Isaiah 22:22)

Antiphon for December 19


O Root of Jesse, you stand as a sign for the peoples; before you kings shall keep silence and to you all nations shall have recourse.  Come, save us, and do not delay.

Isaiah 52:13, 15; 53:2: "See, my servant shall prosper...So shall he startle many nations, because of him kings shall stand speechless. ...He grew up like a sapling before him, like a shoot".

Isaiah prophesied a restoration of David's throne - a new branch budding out
of the old root.  Christ is the root of Jesse in a two-fold sense: he is the descendant of David, who was the youngest son of Jesse, and he inherited the royal throne.  The angel foretold to Mary, "The Lord God will give him the throne of David his father.  He will rule over the house of Jacob forever and his reign will be without end" (Luke 1:32-33).

Our hearts more and more urgently cry out for God's reign to extend over all humanity: "Come, save us, and do not delay".

(c) 2000 Jeanne Kun


The O Antiphons 

The root of Jesse 
(c) 1997 print by Jeanne Kun
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