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
‘This antiphon draws its main inspiration from chapter 11 of Isaiah. The prophet there sees the Messiah coming ‘as an ensign to the peoples’. We are reminded of Jesus’ words and St John’s comment: “‘I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself’. He said this to show by what death he was to die” (John 22.32-33). This death will be a victory that will silence the proud of this world. Even the pagan nations will call upon the Saviour: “In that day the root of Jesse shall stand as an ensign to the peoples; him shall the nations seek, and his dwelling shall be glorious” (Isaiah 11.10)’.
from The Liturgical Year, 1977, by Adrien Nocent OSB, 1913-1996
Fr Lee Kenyon