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By Sr. Ansgar  Holmberg, CSJ

By Sr. Ansgar Holmberg, CSJ

Today’s “Alleluia” verse, which also appears in evening prayer as the antiphon to the Magnificat (Mary’s Song) says O Root of Jesse’s Stem, sign of God’s love for all his people, come to save us without delay! 

This is a reference to the verses in the prophet Isaiah which promise (IS 11: 1,10) that the Messiah Israel waited for would be a descendent of Jesse, father of the great King David. This was the lineage of Jesus. When a tree dies and is cut back, there sometimes remains a root that eventually puts out a tender branch. Although it seemed that the ancestral line of King David had disappeared, the prophecy was seen to be fulfilled in a very unexpected way.

For me, this lesson is often manifested in plants which seemingly have fulfilled their lifespan but in the spring put forth a new shoot, an unexpected miracle that reminds me of the creative power of life and the love of God.