O Key of David, opening the gates of God’s eternal Kingdom: come and free the prisoners of darkness!
Clavis David – Key of David
O Come, Thou Key of David, come, and open wide our heav’nly home, make safe the way that leads on high, that we no more have cause to sigh.
‘And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write: 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 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.
Then you shall say to them: Thus says the LORD: I am about to fill all the inhabitants of this land—the kings who sit on David’s throne, the priests, the prophets, and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem—with drunkenness.
Not like these is the LORD, the portion of Jacob,
for he is the one who formed all things,
and Israel is the tribe of his inheritance;
the LORD of hosts is his name.
Reflection by Father Coutts
O Key of David
The Key of David is the next Messianic title of Jesus. Isaiah tells us in Ch. 22 that the Lord places on his shoulder the Key of the House of David. This key would open doors, which no one could later shut. Further in Ch.42 – Isaiah expands on the unlocking power of the Key of David. It would not only open the entrance to the Kingdom, but it would be an opening for each of us as individuals.
- It would open our eyes to see the needy, the orphan and the widow, the wounded at the side of the road as in the Good Samaritan story. It would also open our eyes to see the wonders in creation: the moon and the stars, the work of your fingers. (Psalm 8.)
- It would open our ears to hear the cry of the poor, to hear the bleating of the lost sheep, to hear the outsider, the Centurion begging: Come down and heal my son who is sick.
The Key of David would open doors so that the light may shine in. In the Old Testament our ancestors in faith: Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and others waited in darkness for the “One who was to come.” The Key of David did come. As we say in the Creed, “he descended into hell – freeing those who had been patiently waiting.
In the New Testament, Jesus would hand the Keys of the Kingdom to Peter. Matthew 16. “I give you the keys of the Kingdom, whatever you loose on earth, will be loosed in heaven.” What a marvellous gift. Jesus had opened the gates through his Passion, Death and Resurrection. Now he hands this all powerful power to a mere human being – and to those who would succeed him. You have made him little less than an angel (Ps.8)
These were not grandiose words. Jesus had gone to the tomb of Lazarus who had been dead for 4 days. He commanded Lazarus to come forth. Then Jesus himself would be entombed – but he would rise on the third day. :“Death where is your victory?” Death where is your sting?”
It is so sad today, that we mortals have been given the power to open the gates of heaven, but there are still some of us who would want to restrict others. We want to build walls and keep out those who are most in need of the saving power of God.
Examen: Where in my own life, do I shut out the Word? What is the darkness, in which I prefer to remain? Is there anyone whom have I locked out from my love & prayers?