O Root of Jesse’s stem,
sign of God’s love for all his people:
come to save us without delay!
We are in the final week before Christmas and, in the liturgy of the Church, each day focuses upon a different title ascribed to the Messiah. These are called the O Antiphons since each of them begin with “O”. Today’s antiphon is O Root of Jesse.
The prophet Isaiah prophesied that the House of David would be restored one day when the Messiah came. That Messiah was spoken of as a new branch budding from the old root, the root of Jesse. Jesse fathered David, the great king. The Messiah would be a branch from that root, effectively restoring the lineage to its rightful place.
That is why the early Christian community traced Jesus’ lineage back through His descendants to David. They wanted to show that Jesus was the promise fulfilled. If you remember, the angel Gabriel told 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.”(Lk 1:32-33)
The world, at the time of the birth of Jesus, was in desperate need of help. Many people had wondered from God’s love. Many others were using God’s laws for their own benefit. They were, as Jesus once described, sheep without a shepherd.
The world in which we live today is in desperate need of God’s help as well. Many have wondered from God’s love. Many others use religion for their own purpose. “False prophets” abound and many are being led astray.
While you tend to all the last minute details of preparation for the coming of the holiday that is Christmas, make sure that you tend to the spiritual preparations needed so that you may celebrate what Christmas truly is.
FAITH ACTION: In prayer today, ask God to “Come, save us, without delay!” Meditate upon the words of this familiar Advent hymn.
O Come, Thou Rod of Jesse’s stem,
from ev’ry foe deliver them
that trust Thy mighty power to save,
and give them vict’ry o’er the grave.