20 December 2008

O Clavis David

O Key of David, Sceptre of the House of Israel, what you close none shall open, what you open none shall close: Come, lead forth from prison those who lie in chains, who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death.

For a child has been born for us, a son given to us; authority rests upon his shoulders; and he is named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9.6)

I will place on his shoulder the key of the house of David; he shall open, and no one shall shut; he shall shut, and no one shall open. (Isaiah 22.22)

These are the words of the holy one, the true one, who has the key of David, who opens and no one will shut, who shuts and no one opens: ‘I know your works. Look, I have set before you an open door, which no one is able to shut. I know that you have but little power, and yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name.’ (Revelation 3.7, 8)

As the Key of David, Jesus has the authority to open the door for us to infinite possibilities. Thus this antiphon asks him to open the door of our self-made prisons of darkness and unlock the chains of sin and death that bind us still. And if he opens, none may close. Once he has freed us from sin and death, from the various prisons of darkness we languish in, none may send us back there, save ourselves alone.

Even in the darkness where I sit
And huddle in the midst of misery
I can remember freedom, but forget
That every lock must answer to a key;
That each dark clasp, sharp and intricate,
Must find a counter-clasp to meet its guard.
Particular, exact and intimate,
The clutch and catch that meshes with its ward.
I cry out for the key I threw away
That turned and over turned with certain touch
And with the lovely lifting of a latch
Opened my darkness to the light of day.
O come again, come quickly, set me free.

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