Advent: December 19th
December 19, O Root of Jesse
Other Titles: Day 3 O Antiphons: O Radix Jesse (O Root of Jesse)
Today is the Third of the O Antiphons, O Radix Jesse (O Root of Jesse). Christ the King, the Lord! Divine Wisdom, Adonai, the powerful God, is at the same time man with flesh and blood of the house of Jesse, the father of King David. Truly, the right of kingship has now passed from the house of David. The glory that once clothed the royal family has faded and withered, leaving only a blighted and withered root. But from this root is to spring a glorious blossom, the King of the world. "He shall rule from sea to sea and from the river unto the ends of the earth. Before Him the Ethiopians shall fall down and His enemies shall lick the ground. The kings of Tharsis and the islands shall offer presents: the kings of the Arabians and of Saba shall serve Him" (Ps. 71:8-11). To Him God has said, "Thou art My Son. . . . I will give Thee the Gentiles for Thy inheritance, and the utmost parts of the earth for Thy possession" (Ps. 2:7 ff).
For those following the Jesse Tree, you can either continue through Christmas Eve following Catholic Culture's Jesse Tree, or use symbols based on the “O” Antiphons (see Jesse Tree Instructions and O Antiphons).
O Root of Jesse
"Come to deliver us and tarry not." The world cries out for Christ its King, who shall cast out the prince of this world (John 12:31). The prince of this world established his power over men as a result of original sin. Even after we had been delivered from the servitude of Satan through the death of Christ on the cross, the prince of this world attempts to exercise his power over us. "The devil, as a roaring lion, goeth about seeking whom he may devour" (I Pet. 5:8). In these trying times, when faith in Christ and in God has largely disappeared, when the propaganda of a pagan culture is broadcast everywhere, and the forces of evil and falsehood rise up to cast God from His throne, who does not feel the power of the devil? Does it not appear that we are approaching that time when Satan will be released from the depths of hell to work his wonders and mislead, if possible, even the elect? (Apoc. 20:2; Matt. 24:24.)
"Come, tarry not." Observe how thoroughly the world of today has submitted to the reign of Satan. Mankind has abandoned the search for what is good and holy. Loyalty, justice, freedom, love, and mutual trust are no longer highly regarded. Establish, O God, Thy kingdom among us, a kingdom established upon truth, justice, and peace. "Come, tarry not." "Thy kingdom come."
—Excerpted from The Light of the World by Benedict Baur, O.S.B.
3rd O Antiphon: O Radix Jesse (O Root of Jesse)
Symbols: Plant with Flower
Come to deliver us, and tarry not.
Traditional Antiphon: O Root of Jesse, who stands for an ensign of the people, before whom kings shall keep silence and unto whom the Gentiles shall make supplication: Come to deliver us, and tarry not.
O Radix Jesse, qui stas in signum populorum, super quem continebunt reges os suum, quem gentes deprecabuntur: veni ad liberandum nos, jam noli tardare.
Vespers Antiphon: 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. Come, let nothing keep you from coming to our aid.
The flower which springs up from the root of Jesse is another figure of Christ. Isaiah prophesied that the Savior would be born from the root of Jesse, that He would sit upon the throne of David, and in Christ this prophecy is fulfilled.
Recommended Readings: Isaiah 11:1-12
Today is Day Four of the Christmas Novena.