TUESDAY OF THE THIRD WEEK OF ADVENT
O Radix Jesse
In medieval art, particularly in some of the great stained-glass windows of Europe, Christ’s lineage is depicted in a striking way. A tree rises upward from a reclining figure of Jesse, the father of King David. Jesse’s sleep reminds us that God takes our labors and brings them to fruition in his time, not necessarily ours. Branches extend outward, depicting various figures of the Old Testament, and at the top of the tree are Mary and Jesus. The royal lineage of Christ is proclaimed in the depiction by the kings and prophets who have come before. They testify that Jesus is the long-awaited King of Kings.
O Flower of Jesse’s stem, you have been raised up as a sign for all peoples. Kings stand silent in your presence; the nations bow down in worship before you. Come, let nothing keep you from coming to our aid. Amen.
Research the “Tree of Jesse” windows of the great French cathedrals of Chartres and Saint-Denis. Study the figures the medieval artists included in Jesse’s tree.