Wednesday of the Third Week of Advent - 20 December: O Key of David

O Key of David, O royal Power of Israel, controlling at your will the gate of heaven: come, break down the prison walls of death for those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death; and lead your captive people into freedom.

“But Ahaz answered, “I will not ask! I will not tempt the LORD!”” (Isaiah 7:12.)

Saint Jerome offers the following insight on this verses from today’s First Reading:

“And Ahaz said, ‘I will not ask and I will not tempt the Lord.’” It is not from humility but from pride that he does not wish to ask for a sign from the Lord. For although it is written in Deuteronomy, “You shall not tempt the Lord your God,” and the Savior would use this as testimony against the devil, when Ahaz was told to ask for a sign he should have fulfilled the commandment in obedience, especially since both Gideon and Manoah sought and received signs. Although it was according to the ambiguity of the Hebrew expression ulo enasse adonai that everyone translated this as “I will not tempt the Lord,” it can also be read as “I will not exalt the Lord.” For the impious king knew that if he had asked for a sign, he would have received one, and the Lord would have been glorified. Like a worshiper of idols, therefore, who sets up altars on all the street corners and on mountains and in forests, he also was a fanatic for capriciousness. He did not want to ask for a sign because he was commanded to do so.” (Commentary on Isaiah, 3.)

O God,
Eternal Majesty, Whose ineffable Word
the immaculate Virgin received
through the message of an Angel
and so became the dwelling-place of divinity,
filled with the light of the Holy Spirit,
grant, we pray, that by her example
we may in humility hold fast to your will.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
Who lives and reigns with You
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Glory to the Father
and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning,
is now, and will be forever. Amen