The O Antiphon: O Key of David

December 21, 2017 | Reflections From Abbess Mary

Ding, dong, ding… the fourth Advent bell proclaims…

O Key of David and scepter of the house of Israel,
who open the gates which none may shut,
who shut the gates which none may open:
Come to liberate from prison
the captive who dwells in darkness and in the shadow of death.

With the title, “O Key of David”, it is fitting that our prayers today have been directed towards the Middle East. How long have the people of Israel and Palestine been waiting, longing and praying for a peaceful solution to the division, tension and violence that marks their days? Just as Jesus wept over Jerusalem all those years ago, so many people weep now, hoping and praying for peace.

O Key of David
O Key of David, come and break down the walls of death

With the latest US decision to acknowledge Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, divisions have been widened, anger increased and hopes smashed. How is it possible to see any kind of unity, peace, life and light ever existing in the Middle East? Humanly…perhaps impossible, but, we know, with God, all things are possible! Tonight we affirm our belief in the Key of David who continues to come into our impossible human realities to unlock doors that are closed, to break open tensions that have simmered far too long, to liberate those who are stuck in their old ways, to shed light in every dark place. And it is this same reality that God has called each of us to announce and unlock, for we too are called to be key holders.

As we pray for the Middle East tonight, let us remember that we can contribute to peace there by the actions we take in our own lives. May you and I be unlockers, liberators, light bearers, gate keepers, peace-makers.

O Key of David and scepter of the house of Israel,
who open the gates which none may shut,
who shut the gates which none may open:
Come to liberate from prison
the captive who dwells in darkness and in the shadow of death.