Have you ever looked at the stump of a tree? They are utterly lifeless, and kind of sad. When the tree is first cut down, the stump serves as a kind of shock. Where once stood a mighty oak, now cowers a lowly stump. After awhile, the stump grows gray with age, and then it begins to rot.
It would seem, initially, that the stump is the end.
However, any naturalist knows differently. While the stump looks the most lifeless, the most dead, the most rotted, it is actually fostering life. It is not too long before new life sprouts out of the old.
O Root of Jesse, you stand as a sign for the peoples; before you kings shall keep silence and to you all nations shall have recourse. Come, save us, and do not delay.
The O’ Antiphon is reminiscent of Isaiah 11:1, “A shoot shall come out from the stump of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots”
Our world, like the stump was dead and decaying. When it was most dark - most without hope, our God humbled himself to come to us as a child in a manger. And this child, Jesus, brings with him new life.
Jesus arrived quietly in the dark corners of a stable, born to a poor carpenter and his betrothed. And in this poverty God proclaims his servant “shall prosper, he shall be exalted and lifted up, and shall be very high.” So high that he would be King of Kings and through him we have recourse.
As we approach Christmas, our hearts cry out with the O Antiphon,
“Come, save us and do not delay.”
Christ Jesus, Come.
Reflect: Is your heart ready for Christmas or are you holding onto the darkness of death? It promised that we have recourse through Christ, do you believe this? Can you avail yourself to the savior?
Act: Listen to the O Antiphon here, and pray with it.