In our reflections on the O Antiphons this Advent Our path to redemption tokes us into Jesus’ ancestral line with O Radix Jesse or O Root of Jesse.
O Root of Jesse, 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.
We Turin to the Prophet Isaiah for the scriptural basis of this Antiphon.
“But a shoot shall sprout from the stump* of Jesse, and from his roots a bud shall blossom.” (Isaiah 11:1) ” Justice shall be the band around his waist, and faithfulness a belt upon his hips. Then the wolf shall be a guest of the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the young goat; The calf and the young lion shall browse together,
with a little child to guide them.” (Isaiah 11:5-6)
King Saul, Israel’s first king, had abandoned God and the Prophet Samuel was sent by God to anoint a son of Jesse as his successor (1 Samuel 16:1-13) As we see on many occasions God’s ways are not human ways. to Samuel’s dismay, the chosen king is not Jesse’s eldest son, but his youngest, David.
“Jesse had the young man brought to them. He was ruddy, a youth with beautiful eyes, and good looking. The Lord said: There—anoint him, for this is the one! Then Samuel, with the horn of oil in hand, anointed him in the midst of his brothers, and from that day on, the spirit of the Lord rushed upon David.”(1 Samuel 16:12-13
Our journey to redemption continues as David, the Root of Jesse, becomes the ideal king the root from whom Jesus will spring.
Some families celebrate Advent with a Jesse Tree, a small tree with ornaments representing the Old Testament events leading up to Jesus’ birth. Ornaments might symbolize, Adam and Eve, Abraham, Moses, Joshua, Jesse, David, Isaiah, Ruth and others. The Jesse Treee is a good way to teach how Advent, awaiting the birth of Jesus, recalls the long period of Jewish history awaiting the Messiah.
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