“O root of Jesse” is the foundation of the throne of David as Jesse is David’s Father. David’s kingdom was that kingdom all in the people wished to return to, it was the undivided and prosperous kingdom. From the memory of that kingdom springs the kingdom of God that Jesus preaches. The root of Jesse is the kingdom toppled, but also undefeated. From the root springs the nourishment needed for new growth, from that root springs the cross of salvation that is Jesus Christ. It is to that root of Jesse that we cry out to, that we might be freed from all that enslaves us and tears us down, and brought back to that Kingdom of God and that God that is the source of life for all mankind.
O Root of Jesse, who stands as the sign for the peoples,
at whom kings will shut their mouths,
whom the nations will entreat:
Come now to free us, and do not delay!
Today’s gospel brings yet another angel, and angels are appearing quite a bit at this time of year. Today it is that angel that appears to Zechariah;
But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zechariah, because your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall name him John. Zechariah though does not believe the angel Gabriel, and Gabriel means “God is my strength.” Zechariah is filled with doubt, and old he has begun to lose his strength, and his doubt renders him speechless. He remains speechless until that prophesy of Gabriel is fulfilled and John is born. John becomes that sign that the tree is about to spring to life, just as John springs in the womb of Elizabeth in the company of Mary and Jesus.
For the fourth day of the Christmas Novena:
HAIL, and blessed be the hour and moment At which the Son of God was born Of a most pure Virgin At a stable at midnight in Bethlehem In the piercing cold At that hour vouchsafe, I beseech Thee, To hear my prayers for strength and nourishment from the Gospel of Jesus the Christ to battle the demons of life that keep me from growing. I pray that those suffering are able to be shaded by that tree of life, and that they are nourished by its plentiful fruit. As even a tree has needs for growth, nourishing soil and sunlight and water, I pray for those who are suffering for lack of food, and water, and shelter. It is a prayer for those suffering through poverty. Through Jesus Christ and His most Blessed Mother. Amen