O Radix Jesse

“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.” (O Antiphon for Dec. 19th)   The idea of the "root of Jesse" in Scripture is an interesting one, with a meaning that seems a bit fluid. The natural meaning of "root" is, unsurprisingly, a source or foundation. But as imagery, it also beckons to new growth coming forth from a devastated stump – as if that which grow...

"I don’t think any other woman is mentioned"

Quote of the Day for Saturday, December 11th, 2010: Catherine Lawless, lecturer in the history of art at the University of Limerick, discussing her paper relating the legends around St. Ismeria, supposed maternal great-grandmother of Jesus, in a recent Discovery News piece: “I don’t think any other woman is mentioned” as Mary’s grandmother in the Bible, Catherine Lawless, author of the paper, told Discovery News. “Mary’s patrilineal lineage is the only one given.” Perhaps I’m guilty here of shooting fish in a bar...

O, Root of Jesse

“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.” (O Antiphon for Dec. 19th) The idea of the “root of Jesse” in Scripture is an interesting one, with a meaning that seems a bit fluid. The natural meaning of “root” is, unsurprisingly, a source or foundation. But as imagery, it beckons to new growth coming forth from a devastated stump – as if that which grows from ...

Motherhood and Salvation

I think the Gospel reading for this week – Mt 15:21-28, The Healing of the Canaanite Woman’s Daughter – is pregnant with eschatological meaning. 20th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year AIsa 56:1, 6-7Ro 11:13-15, 29-32Mt 15:21-28“O woman, great is your faith! Let it be done for you as you wish.” And her daughter was healed from that hour. (Mt 15:28) The woman, who calls Jesus “Lord” and “Son of David,” asks for mercy on herself, but in doing so is actually referring to her daughter’s ailment. She is, ...