Day 23 (Dec 19) O Radix Jesse & The Final Sentence (Advent Meditation)
O Radix Jesse
“O Root of Jesse, Who standest for a sign to the nations, before Whom kings shall shut their mouth, of Whom the Gentiles shall entreat mercy; come to set us free, and no longer delay.”
1. The King Who is to come is of the root of Jesse, since He is of David’s royal line. He is the true David, Who laid low the spiritual Goliath, the prince of darkness, who in pagan times defied the power of the living God. He is above all the Man after God’s own heart, in that the one motive of His heart was to carry out His Father’s will. If this is the motive power of my life, then I too am of the root of Jesse, and in spite of failings am a man after God’s own heart, just in proportion as this motive is ever present to me.
2. Jesus is a sign to the nations; a sign of contradiction to His enemies, but before Whom the most powerful will have to shut their mouth in humble subjection; a sign to His friends, the men of good-will in every clime and country, who will be drawn to Him to offer their joyful homage at His feet, entreating of Him that mercy which He is more ready to grant than they to ask. To me He is a sign, either fondly loved, or neglected and treated as of no account.
3. O Root of Jesse, O King and Saviour, come and set us free; free from all that displeases Thee, free from the snares that entangle our feet, free from our perverse attachment to our own will, free from the power of the devil, free from our slowness in obeying Thy commands and holy inspirations, free from all that hinders us in Thy service; come and say the word, and we shall be delivered.
The Final Sentence
The wicked shall go into everlasting punishment, but the just into life everlasting. (St. Matt. xxv. 46.)
1. The sentence pronounced at the Last Judgment will be one of perfect justice. Every little circumstance will be taken into account; inherited character, natural disposition, fierce passions, favorable or unfavorable circumstances, early training, opportunities of grace, sacraments, temptations, everything. All who are lost will confess that they have been treated with perfect justice, that it was their own fault, that it was they who condemned themselves to eternal separation from God.
2. The sentence will be not only just but merciful. All the lost will acknowledge that their punishment is less than they deserved. They will recognize an element of mercy, and will be forced amid their despair and hatred of God, amid their curses and blasphemies, to confess that they have been leniently dealt with in comparison with their sins.
3. The sentence will be irrevocable. Even at the Particular Judgment the soul will know its final destiny. But at the General Judgment the sentence will be confirmed and ratified in the presence of the holy angels and the assembled crowd. How strange it is, then, that in view of this we take so little trouble to secure a favorable sentence!
Pray that to you may be addressed the gracious words: “Well done, good and faithful servant, enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.”
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