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.
The one with the keys has power, as well as great responsibility. The power is to open and close doors, and the responsibility is to care for the safety of those who are protected by locked doors. “O Key of David” is the “O Antiphon” for today. Today we celebrate our Savior as the one descended from King David, long promised and hoped for, who comes to set his people free from death.
O come, O Key of David, come,
And open wide our heavenly home;
Make safe the way that leads on high,
And close the path to misery.
Jesus Christ is the promised one who has power to release us from death, and power to open the gates of heaven to his people who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death. Death is not a fitting end for the people God has created and the ones God has chosen as his own. Jesus Christ comes as the Redeemer who opens the gates of heaven and makes possible our redemption and the great promise of eternal life.
Jesus Christ is also the one who has great responsibility. This Key of David bears the burden of our sins and takes them with him to the wood of the Cross. He releases us from captivity into freedom and makes the way to heaven safe, closing the path to misery and locking it up forever.
Come, O Key of David!
Come, Lord Jesus!