Saturday, December 19, 2009


Today’s “O antiphon” is as follows:

O Flower of Jesse’s stem, you have been raised up as a sign for all peoples; kings stand silent in your presence; the nations bow down in worship before you. Come, let nothing keep you from coming to our aid.

This antiphon’s text reminds us of the lineage of the Messiah as “Son of David” (Jesse was of course David’s Father). It alludes also to Isaiah 11, where “He that cometh” was said to embody the spirit of wisdom and understanding, of counsel and strength, of knowledge and fear of the LORD. It reminds us also that salvation comes from the Jews but is offered to “all peoples” (compare Jesus’ words to the Samaritan woman in John 4:22-24). Being the beacon of salvation to the world is the task of the “Servant of the LORD” (Isaiah 42:6, 49:6). The final allusion is to the “royal” Psalm 72, which celebrates the virtues of the ideal king. One of the typical responses for this Psalm when used as the Responsory at Mass is, “Lord, every nation on earth will adore you” (Ps. 72:11). This King we long for is one who will defend the cause of the poor, deliver the needy, and crush the oppressor (Ps. 72:4). And we know the sins that make us poor, needy and oppressed in our lives: we know our need, so we can also cry out,
“…let nothing keep you from coming to our aid.”

No comments:

Post a Comment