The 3rd Great Antiphon: O Radix Jesse — O Root of Jesse

A Sign For All Peoples

The O Antiphons reflections continue with O Radix Jesse or O Root of Jesse. Read more about the rich history of all seven O Antiphons, a great treasure of the Advent season: The Great Antiphons & the Rich History of O Come, O Come Emmanuel.

December 19 Antiphon: O Radix Jesse

O Flower of Jesse’s stem, you have been raised up as a sign for all peoples; kings stand silent in your presence; the nations bow down in worship before you. Come, let nothing keep you from coming to our aid.

Symbol: The flower that springs up from the root of Jesse is another figure of Christ. Isaiah prophesied that the Savior would be born from the root of Jesse and would sit upon the throne of David. Christ fulfills this prophecy (Image Source: Catholic Culture).

“Christ, the Root of Jesse, is indeed a sign for all nations, but He does not come as was expected. As a root is humble in its beginnings, hidden in the earth, so Our Lord came hidden in the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and hidden for the first thirty years in the humble family of a carpenter at Nazareth. Even when He began His public ministry, He did not come as a conquering political leader, as many expected of the Messaiah. No, he tells us, “learn from Me, for I am meek and humble of heart.” (Reflection written by the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist.)

Recommended Scripture Reading:

In the twentieth century, the Estonian composer Arvo Pärt set a German translation of these antiphons for choral use under the title Magnificat Antiphonen. Here is his Antiphonen: No. 3: O Spross. May it provide an opportunity for you to prayerfully reflect on the hidden and unexpected blessings in your life, some which may seem to be unanswered prayers.

Related articles: The Great Antiphons & the Rich History of O Come, O Come Emmanuel

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