O Radix Jesse

Source: District of Asia

Dec. 19.  O Root of Jesse, You stand for an ensign of mankind: before You kings shall keep silence and to You all nations shall have recourse.  Come, save us, and do not delay.

At the outset of his ministry, Isaiah learned from the Lord that the nation would perish because of its obstinacy and blindness.  Israel would be sent into exile and be cut down like a terebinth or an oak whose stump alone remains standing when the tree is felled.  But that ‘remnant’ was to be the holy seed (Is. 6, 13) of a people purified in the Exile.  Under the rule of the Messiah, “a Shoot from the stem of Jesse” (Is. 11, 1), the dynasty and the whole kingdom were to recover their glory of old; the stump that has survived the burning will stand as a signal beckoning to the people (Is. 10, 11; 2, 1-4).  In the person of the Messiah the dynasty of David will attract the attention of the nations.  Peoples and kings shall wonder at His triumph, expressing their amazement by refraining from talking and laying their hands on their mouth (Is. 52, 15).

St. John has contemplated the fulfilment of this prophecy in the heavenly vision of the Lamb that directs the course of history: “the Lion of Juda, the Root of David has conquered” and has been found worthy to open the mysterious scroll and its seven seals (Apoc. 5, 5).