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Advent 2014: 'O Clavis David'

Saturday, December 20, 2014

O Key of David and sceptre of the House of Israel; 
you open and no one can shut;
you shut and no one can open:
Come and lead the prisoners from the prison house,
those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death.

Recently I was in Australia for a friend's wedding but decided to leave the reception early as I was feeling quite tired. When I got to the house at which I was staying, I took the keys from my pocket and tried to open the door. To my dismay I found the keys I had been given wouldn't open the door. I tried the front door and the back door, but the keys did not work. Not the scenario one wants to be caught in in the early hours of the morning!Being locked out is a pain, and even more so if we are to speak of being locked out of the Kingdom of God. In fact, no greater pain can be conceived than that of being locked out of the place for which we were made. 

In the Magnificat antiphon of today, we speak of Our Lord as the 'Key of David'. This is taken from Isaiah and can also be found in the book of the Apocalypse. The image of the 'key' also reminds us of Our Lord's entrusting to Peter the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven and the power to bind and loose. The image of David evokes a sense of royalty, dominion, and, of course, kingdom.

Jesus, the Messiah, is our key. He is the one and only key to grant us access to the heavenly Promised Land. No other key, no matter how desperately we may try to fit it into the lock, will grant us the access we desire. Without the 'Key of David' we will find ourselves dwelling outside the house, in the darkness. There is no access to the Kingdom outside of Christ. But we need not fear. There is no need to fumble in the dark anymore; the Key has become manifest for us and is offered freely to us. Are you ready to accept this gift?  

- fr. Joseph Bailham OP


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