|The Harrowing of Hell by the Scottish artist Peter Howson|
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 Sceptre of the House of Israel; you open and no man closes; you close and no man opens. Come, and deliver from the chains of prison those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death.
Todays O Antiphon is O Clavis David (O Key of David). It reminds us that Jesus is the key that opens the gates of heaven to us. Are there doors in your life that you keep locked? Doors in your heart to areas that you wish no-one to see, not even God? Trust in the Key of David, Who wants to free us from all darkness and sin:
The key and sceptre are traditional symbols of kingly power and authority. Christ, the anointed one, is the heir of David and possessor of the kingdom. Jesus himself also made use of this symbol, showing the prophetic relationship of the earthly kingdom of David to the kingdom of God. All power and authority was given to him after the resurrection, and he entrusted this power to "bind and to loose" to Peter and the ministers of his church.
In the closing petition we look to Jesus to unlock the fetters of sin that keep us tightly chained. It is he who frees us from our captivity. We recall the deliverance proclaimed by the psalmist of old: "they dwelt in darkness and gloom, bondsmen in want and in chains,...and he led them forth from darkness and gloom and broke their bonds asunder" (Psalm 107: 10, 14).
PAYG - ‘God With Us: An Advent Retreat with the O Antiphons’
Reflections from prior years on the O Antiphons: