O radix Jesse — ‘to you all nations shall have recourse’

O Root of Jesse, you stand as a sign for the peoples; before you kings shall keep silence and to you all nations shall have recourse.  Come, save us, and do not delay.1

We remember the words of Isaiah,

Behold my servant shall understand, he shall be exalted, and extolled, and shall be exceeding…2

He shall sprinkle many nations, kings shall shut their mouth at him:…3

And he shall grow up as a tender plant before him, and as a root out of a thirsty ground:…4

who prophesied a restoration of the throne of King David — this is the ‘tender plant’. Indeed our blessed Lord whose coming we are now waiting for expectantly is the root of Jesse in, not one sense, but two. He is the descendant of David, the youngest son of Jesse; and He inherited the Throne.

This is He who we believe is the ‘God of Love sitting on a Throne of Grace’, this is Jesus, son of the Blessed Virgin Mary, for as the angel said to Our Lady:

… and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of David his father; and he shall reign in the house of Jacob for ever. And of his kingdom there shall be no end.5

As we come closer and closer to the great Feast of the Nativity of our Lord, we come closer and closer to His reign on earth at the second coming. Of course, as Catholics we believe that He reigns now, we have only a few weeks ago celebrated the Feast of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe, and today we remember that again, but in a more urgent, expectant, way.

For me, this is a reminder of our mission in the world, taking the Gospel of Jesus Christ among the people, letting them see and hear Him through us. I pray that I may be a worthy instrument of that Gospel.

Notes
1. Antiphons of Advent
2. Is. 52.13
3. Is. 52.15
4. Is. 53.2
5. Lk 1.32–33
6. All Scriptural references are from the Douai-Rheims translation.
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The Ceremonial of Bishops – by Abbot Cuthbert Johnston OSB

In the Rule of St Benedict chapter 48 the Abbot is instructed to give each monk at the beginning of Lent “a book from the library, which shall read be through consecutively” from cover to cover, during the days of Lent.

While the Ceremonial of Bishops is not a book that I would readily give to a monk for his Lenten reading, but it is a work which if read from beginning to end will provide valuable insights. Such an undertaking might appear to be a rather daunting task and the fact that the Ceremonial of Bishops has been presented as a resource book for those responsible for planning and directing the liturgical ministry of the Bishop, has also contributed towards deterring anyone reading it from cover to cover.

Read the rest here…. 

Bishops and other prelates are permitted the use of a mitre.

Abbot Johnston explains about how ceremonial is important not just for Bishops but for all in the Church. Although he was suggesting that the Ceremonial of Bishops would not be quite a book he would give to a monk for Lenten reading, it will probably form part of my reading as we prepare for the great Feast of Christmas and for the whole new liturgical year that comes after it. As a simple priest, I thought that it didn’t really concern me—but now, as Ordinary of FSDM, I am told that it does. For although I am not a bishop, in some respects I look after my confrères in the way that a Bishop looks after his flock. Some things are allowed to me. These external things are merely pointing towards the internal, that of caring for, and being responsible for the Fraternity. The sheep elected their shepherd. I must act — and look — like one.

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