WDTPRS: 20 December – O Clavis David

We continue our look at the O Antiphons with today’s O Clavis David

LATIN: O clavis David, et sceptrum domus Israel: qui aperis, et nemo claudit; claudis, et nemo aperit: veni, et educ vinctum de domo carceris, sedentem in tenebris.

ENGLISH: O Key of David, and scepter of the house of Israel, who opens and no man shuts, who shuts and no man opens: come, and bring forth the captive from his prison, he who sits in darkness and in the shadow of death.

Scripture Reference:

Isaiah 22:22
Revelation 3:7

Relevant verse of  Veni, Veni Emmanuel:

O come, thou Key of David, come,
And open wide our heavenly home;
Make safe the way that leads on high,
And close the path to misery.

Do not fall into the trap of thinking that the we are dealing with events isolated solely in the past.  Even taking just the image of the key in Scripture, we see how God’s plan is still in effect for us today, and we are all still players in his plan for salvation.   The Old Testament reference from Isaiah helps us see this.   In Isaiah we read how the Lord said to Shebna, who was the master of the household of King Hezekiah:

“And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will call my servant Eliakim the son of Helkias, and I will clothe him with thy robe, and will strengthen him with thy girdle, and will give thy power into his hand: and he shall be as a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and to the house of Juda. And I will lay the key of the house of David upon his shoulder: and he shall open, and none shall shut: and he shall shut and none shall open. And I will fasten him as a peg in a sure place, and he shall be for a throne of glory to the house of his father”.

The Lord establishes an office to be handed down through a succession, an office of jurisdiction.

This same language and image was used by our Lord when in Matthew 16 He conferred His own authority on Peter to exercise as a office to be handed down in a succession. 

Truly the Lord who came to us at Bethlehem is with us always in His Church until His ultimate Coming at the end of the world.

In Revelation 3:7 the Lord is described as He who still wields David’s key.  Even as Peter holds the keys on earth, it is the Lord’s own hand which holds Peter’s hand.

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About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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One Response to WDTPRS: 20 December – O Clavis David

  1. Daniel K. says:

    Thanks Father for these wonderful Advent posts. Your last comment is consoling, indeed, during these uncertain times. God’s providence encompasses all things at all times; like St. Padre Pio said (I think it was him), you are obliged to pray and forbidden to worry. Deo gratias!