The O Antiphon for today comes from a prophecy in chapter 11 of the Book of Isaiah in the Hebrew Scriptures which says: “A shoot shall sprout from the stump of Jesse, and from his roots a bud shall blossom.” (Vs. 1) “And on that day, the root of Jesse, set up as a signal for the nations, the Gentiles shall seek out, for his dwelling shall be glorious.” (Vs. 10) One would have to know that Jesse was the father of King David and that the prophet Micah, in chapter 5 of his prophecy, had written that the Messiah would be born “of the house and lineage of David and be born in David’s city, Bethlehem.” And one more thing leads to Jesus being recognized as Messiah. Although they lived in Nazareth, Mary and Joseph were required to travel to Bethlehem, as members of the lineage of Jesse, to enroll there in the census at the end of Mary’s pregnancy.
We can look at many important happenings of our lives as “synchronicity” (meaningful coincidences). Some people would describe the above circumstances as such. Believers the world over would have another explanation, however. They would call it “God’s plan.” Today’s O Antiphon cries out in that belief.
O Root of Jesse (or 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.