The O Antiphons: 19 December

O Radix Jesse

LATIN: O Radix Jesse, qui stas in signum populorum, super quem continebunt reges os suum, quem gentes deprecabuntur: veni ad liberandum nos, iam noli tardare.

ENGLISH: O Root of Jesse, that stands for an ensign of the people, before whom the kings keep silence and unto whom the Gentiles shall make supplication: come, to deliver us, and tarry not.

17 Dec O Sapientia.jpg (186125 bytes)

Listen to this chant from the Liber Usualis: mp3

Scripture References:

Isaiah 11:10
Romans 15:12
Revelation 5:5

Relevant verse of  Veni, Veni Emmanuel:

O come, O Rod of Jesse free,
Thine own from Satan's tyranny;
From depths of hell Thy people save,
And give them victory o'er the grave.

The version from the Dominican antiphonarium:    

REFLECTION:  (ENGLISH: O Root of Jesse, that stands for an ensign of the people, before whom the kings keep silence and unto whom the Gentiles shall make supplication: come, to deliver us, and tarry not.)

O Antiphons: 19 December - O Jesse Radix  (ENGLISH: O Root of Jesse, that stands for an ensign of the people, before whom the kings keep silence and unto whom the Gentiles shall make supplication: come, to deliver us, and tarry not.) 

What urgency there is this antiphon. Something that lies below the earth (a root) stands high unto the heavens like a banner!  Vexilia Regis Prodeunt we sing in Lent... what is a little root during Advent becomes by Lent the Tree of our salvation.  Isaiah 11:10 gives us imagery for our reflection today. The great prophet of Advent tells us that the kingdom of David would be destroyed, but not entirely destroyed. A root would remain. Jesse is David's father. David is Jesse's root. David leads to Christ. After the destruction there remains a root.  No matter what the exigencies of life present to us or how turbulent the vicissitudes of the passing world may be, when we cling to the root we are sure to be victorious in the end.