O Radix 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 a sign among the peoples;
before you kings will shut their mouths,
to you the nations will make their prayer:
Come and deliver us, and delay no longer.
Today's O Antiphon, O Radix Jesse, situates the coming Saviour, Wisdom and Holy Lord, within a human family tree - that of Jesse. The imagery is, literally, that of tree-growth - a shoot from an ancient tree, bringing new life. Trees are all around us at this season: even in the city we bring greenery into our buildings. In the dead of winter trees speak to us of longing. Those which have lost their leaves whisper to us silently about longing and patience, waiting in the darkness in a spirit of trust; the rightness of cycles of light and dark ruled by the Love that Moves the Sun, that all shall be well. The evergreens tell us of fidelity and strength: even in the dark and cold times there is still life. We are silenced in wonder. Enjoy your fir trees and holly; learn from them!