20 December 2005

O Clavis David

O Clavis David, et sceptrum domus Israel: qui aperis et nemo claudit; claudis et nemo aperit: Veni et educ vinctum de domo carceris sedentem in tenebris et umbra mortis.
O Key of David, and scepter of the house of Israel: who opens and none shall close, closes and none shall open: Come and lead out from the prison house the one in chains who sits in darkness and the shadow of death.

The Key of David is the six-pointed star which represents Yahweh and His sacred name to the Jewish people. This is the only title among the seven antiphons which is used as a title for the first time when it is applied to Jesus. Jesus is the Key of David. The promises made in the Old Testament are made in hope; Christ fulfills that hope. Christ himself is the connection between the kingdom of David and the kingdom of God. The petition in this antiphon recalls the epic following the second servant song in Isaiah, where Yahweh promises that he "will say to prisoners, 'Come out,' to those who are in darkness, 'Show yourselves" (Is 49:9). Here, too, the connection between David and Christ is clear: mankind awaits its freedom from the powers of sin and death. The revelation of the Old Testament is fulfilled in Christ, the six-pointed star.

The Lord is the one who opens and closes. He opens heaven for us at a great price; he opens our hearts for us, if we let him. How often we find that our hearts are closed to those around us. How often do we fail to make room for those around us who are in need? Sometimes it is a neighbor who is troublesome or a co-worker who leans on our nerves. It is far easier to avoid the lunchroom or the coffee pot if we see someone whose presence bothers us -- for whatever reason. At times, we may even feel justified in doing so -- lest we unsettle ourselves unnecessarily. These are precisely the moments when Christ can open our hearts for us. When we stretch ourselves beyond what is easy and comfortable and reach out to one whom we might ordinarily avoid, we suffer a little. We suffer some discomfort, a little anxiety and maybe even fear. But when we allow the six-pointed star to guide us, we unshackle ourselves from the chains of selfishness by allowing him to open our hearts. Come, Lord Jesus.

No comments: