O Key of David


O Key of David, O royal Power of Israel,
controlling at your will the gate of heaven:
Come, break down the prison walls of death
for those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death;
and lead your captive people into freedom.

O Radix Jesse establishes a time line and it also establishes the notion of a family tree or lineage. Jesus though in his gospels used many descriptions of trees in his teachings. Perhaps O Radix Jesse should be evaluated in some small sense as a parable. If you think of a shoot sprouting from the stump of the tree Jesse two things become immediately apparent. The first is that the tree has been reduced to a stump. It is a tree or lineage or kingdom that has been cut down from its former glory.Jesse’ family fate is nothing unusual and his was not the first to experience defeat. What has happened in that time still continues today. The fate of the tree though leaves two options. The first is that the defeat would simply put that tree and all it represents to an end. The second though is the fate of the sprout from Jesse’s tree.Though cut down through conflict or culture, a remnant that is still able to bring about a former glory remains. In Jesse’s case the cultures and the conflicts are not enough to wipe the Kingdom promised from existence; Jesse and all his tribe represents is resilient, and like good versus evil it endures. It experiences a regrowth, a resurrection, a revitalization, a renewal. In its rebirth it reforms a kingdom and in being a kingdom it bows to authority. The key to the kingdom is that which grants authority. It allows people to pass through and it guarantees entry. It is the privilege of the keys to a city, and it is Jesus that s granted that privilege.The kingdom is the Kingdom of God. If O’Radix Jesse is the renewal of the Kingdom, O’ Key of David is the authority to rule that kingdom.It is authority granted to the Church, it is the authority to bind and loosen as given to the apostles through the sacrament of confession, and it is the authority given to Christ over evil. O key of David is in essence the feast of the last Sunday in ordinary time, the feast of Christ the King. It is authority.

O Come, Thou Key of David, come,
and open wide our heav’nly home,
make safe the way that leads on high,
that we no more have cause to sigh.

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