O Root of Jesse, which standest for an ensign of the peoples, at whom kings shall shut their mouths,
to whom the Gentiles shall seek: come and deliver us, and tarry not.
Divine Worship: The Missal
‘[T]he heavenly community, with which the Bible closes, will be one in which the sufferings of God’s people will be recompensed. Exchanging their cross for the tree of life, they will see face to face the One who turned all pain to good account. Those who washed their clothes in the blood of the Lamb, those who came through the great persecution, those who resisted the beast – symbol of evil – preferring to endure all that the Church must, rather than opt for compromise. And in the centre of the new Jerusalem stands the source of the revelation: “I Jesus have sent my angel to you with this testimony for the churches. I am the root and offspring of David” (Rev 22:16). Spanning the life of the Church in heaven with the Church on earth, Jesus unites both communities as the vine unites the ground and sky, the above and below, North and South, East and West, by its prodigious extension. At the end of time, as this last word of scripture affirms, the pruning will be complete. Its effect will have been so to fortify the vine that it will easily support the new heaven in its branches, the new earth in its roots, and the entire company of the blessed as its weighty crop, “twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month” (Rev 22:2). Until that final consummation, the victory song of the saints and martyrs already round the throne of glory mingles with the hymn of the Advent Church still struggling. “The Spirit and the Bride say, ‘Come’ to the offspring of David (Rev 22:17), or as the liturgy puts it on December 19th, “O Root of Jesse, you stand as a signal for the nations; O come to deliver us, and do not delay”’.
from Seven Bells to Bethlehem: The O Antiphons by Fr Oliver Treanor
Fr Lee Kenyon