Reflecting on 21 Centuries of Faith

What Good Could Come from Nazareth: O Radix Jesse

Root_of_Jesse.theotokosOver the past eight years, my son Nicholas has devastated three lawn mowers. The main culprit is the Cherry tree roots. He has run over the root a number of times and inevitably bent the blade and the drive shaft. Several times. Three to be exact. And yet, I should not complain because I did not have to mow the lawn.

What has amazed me is the constitution of the tree. Even more amazing is that from this macerated root a Rose of Sharon bush has sprung forth producing beautiful blooms. It seems that nature always finds away – even amidst damaged roots.

Today’s O Antiphon is a great reminder of this principal. When humanity was splintered and the favored people were cut to the root, the Lord found a way and from the stump of Jesse a Savior would come:

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.

A promise of salvation (Genesis 3:15), a once and future king (Psalm 132:11), a hopeful question (John 1:46) and a savior coming forth from the city of the branch (ne·er, נֵ֫צֶר) who became the Savior (Mark 1:9).

Tonight, Isaiah stirs our heart and reminds us to allow the gospel to dig deep and establish a strong root in Christ Jesus.

Holy Spirit, plunge your blade (Hebrews 4:12) into the fallow ground (Jeremiah 4:3 and Hosea 10:12) of my heart that your word will take root (Matthew 13). O Radix Jesse, allow a new springtime (Zechariah 10:1, Song of Songs 2:11, Isaiah 35: 1-10) to ensue as the time of your Nativity draws near.

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