O Radix Jesse, qui stas in signum populorum, super quem continebunt reges os suum, quem Gentes deprecabuntur: veni ad liberandum nos, jam noli tardare.
O stock of Jesse, you stand as a signal for the nations; kings fall silent before you whom the peoples acclaim. O come to deliver us and do not delay.
Jesse was King David’s father, and the antiphon for today comes from the prophecy of Isaiah. The prophet sees the destruction of the house of David and the kingdom of Judah would be destroyed but there would remain a holy root, a stump, from which a shoot would grow that would be holy and a sign of God’s faithfulness.
Because of God’s fidelity shown to the peoples, the peoples will be silent at this act of goodness and will gather around the new shoot, acknowledging it as a new ruler – they will marvel at this and be dumbstruck and filled with awe.
When the angel Gabriel announced the coming of the Son of God to Mary, he said:
“The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David; he will rule over the house of Jacob for ever and his reign will have no end.”
The Lord coming in the flesh will occupy the royal throne of David and all will be astounded at his reign, the reign which we as Christians are commissioned to proclaim in the world. The petition is to come and bring to fulfilment the Reign of the one who now sits on the Throne so all will see the coming of God in power.