O Root of Jesse – O Antiphons – Day 3


It is Winter here in Canada.

It is frozen, barren, and bleak.

Though we know that spring will come, we can easily enough find our spirits grow as grim as the landscape. Life beneath the frigid tundra seems as if it could not exist. Nevertheless, life is there.

Spring comes.

The roots shoot up.

The land warms, greens, blossoms;

hope comes.

Root of Jesse

Have you ever watched your garden, seen a shoot, wondered if it would take root and grow?

In the four hundred year silence between the Old Testament and the New Testament, I am sure the Jewish people wondered if their promised Messiah would ever come.

“O Root of Jesse,
standing as a sign among the peoples;
before you, kings will shut their mouths,
to you the nations will make their prayer:
Come and deliver us and delay no longer.” 1

This Root of Jesse, Jesus, was the fulfillment of the prophecy. Jesse was the father of King David, and Micah had prophesied that the Messiah would be of the house and lineage of David and be born in David’s city, Bethlehem. (Micah 5:2).

And Isaiah prophesied:
“A shoot shall come out from the stock of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots.” Isaiah 11:10
“On that day the root of Jesse shall stand as a signal to the peoples; the nations shall inquire of him, and his dwelling shall be glorious.” Isaiah 11:1


O Root of Jesse, you are Hope,

dressed in swaddling clothes, walking the dusty paths of Galilee, then stripped bare, and crucified.

From the Root of Jesse to the Cross of Calvary.

Through you, O Root of Jesse,

Hope lives,


The in-between

The here and now, this in-between we live in, is not the end of the story. Hope is who You are, Root of Jesse, and what You bring to us. And though we have heard it before, it bears repeating: the most hopeful words of all:

And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying: “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man, and He will live with them. They will be His people, and God Himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the former things have passed away.” And the One seated on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” Then He said, “Write this down, for these words are faithful and true.” (Rev. 21: 3 -5)

O Wisdom,
O Lord and Ruler,
O Root of Jesse,
O Key of David,
O Morning Star,
O King of the Nations,
O Emmanuel,

Come, Lord Jesus.

1 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/O_Antiphons



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *