Friday, 19 December 2008

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.

This antiphon ties us with yesterday’s antiphon as we see Jesus as a continuation and indeed a fulfilment of the people of old. Many are the depictions of the Jesse tree that show how Jesus is in line with this family tree through which God in His mercy reveals Himself to us. But this antiphon takes the Jesse tree forward as Jesus is not simply seen as the fulfilment of that tree but also as its root. He through whom all things are made is by necessity also the originator and root of the chosen people. The root is under ground, it is hidden but it is what gives life to the whole tree, so is Jesus for us. Like him we are called to be hidden by the cloak of humility and immersed in the silence of prayer, in union with Jesus we give life to the whole tree, just like the salt or the flame that wins over darkness.
When we think of ensigns we have images of a symbol or sign that stands above ground and is seen by all, however the ways of God are different from ours. The ensign given to us today and that stands for the whole of humanity is a root hidden underground, hidden not retiring, hidden as that is the only place where the root can be effective. The humility of Jesus, him hidden in his people and in the Eucharistic elements, are giving life and sustaining the whole of the created order, passing from root to branches to leaves the revelation of our God. This mystery makes the powerful silent and all people will turn to him suppliant on their knees, an image that will be fulfilled in its totality in the Second Coming of our Lord.
Standing in front of this truth our prayer asks for deliverance, asking the root to make the tree whole once more as God intends it to be. Our wish and eagerness for salvation makes us almost impatient, in a positive way, as we know what we are missing. Come Lord, and tarry not!

No comments: