O Radix Jesse/O Root of Jesse
qui stas in signum populorum,
super quem continebunt reges os suum,
quem gentes deprecabuntur:
veni ad liberandum nos,
jam noli tardare
O Root of Jesse,
standing as an ensign before the peoples,
before whom all kings are mute,
to whom the nations will do homage;
Come quickly to deliver us.
“In that day the Root of Jesse will stand as a banner for the peoples; the nations will rally to him, and his place of rest will be glorious(Isaiah 11:10)." Leave it to the Lord to make a lowly root his banner, the flag at which all kings will be silent and all nations will bow. Roots are best left unseen, underground, invisibly drawing up nutrients from the soil, feeding the branches which produce leaves and fruit. Expose the root and the whole tree dies. But cut down the tree even to a stump and it will return, as long as the root is alive.
The Root of Jesse is God’s Promise that David’s throne would stand forever. That a son of David would establish his kingdom and sit on his throne. That promise is the root of Israel. Even when the tree was cut down, when Israel was reduced to a lifeless stump, the Promise lived in the Root. “Then shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots (Isaiah 11:1)."
"I am the root and offspring of David,” Jesus said in the the last of His I AMs (Rev 22:16)." He was lifted up on the tree of the cross, a banner for the nations to see. As Moses lifted up the bronze serpant in the wilderness as an emblem of healing, so the Root of Jesse was lifted up the cross.
We have been grafted to the Root of Jesse in Baptism. We must take care that the graft dry doesn/t dry out; keep it immersed in baptismal water. Draw on His forgiveness, His life, His salvation. We are living branches grafted to the living Root of Jesse. Jesus is our Vine and our Root. Apart from Him we can do nothing. Joined to Him, believing in Him, we may bear much fruit.
Wait patiently on this Root of Jesse. He is the source of our life, who now feeds and forgives us, who nourishes and sustains us, and will come to raise us.
-- Pastor William Cwirla, ed. by Deacon J; photo by Harry Talpin