“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.”
Do you associate the notion of submission with the notion of freedom? Submission is the gateway to ultimate freedom when it means submitting through faith to the transformation of ourselves Christ, the “Key of David,” is offering. Through submission to that transformation, we will be capable of remaining in union with Him eternally and enjoying the perfect freedom that union will entail. Without the help of Christ, we human beings are not capable of remaining in union with our Creator, as centuries under the Covenant with Moses taught the Israelites. That covenant was contingent upon the Israelites’ creaturely abilities to keep the law, which they failed to do time after time. With their own abilities, the Israelites could not resist their tendencies to turn their focus away from God and toward vain, worldly desires as the ultimate aims of their existences in this life. They were dominated by a love of the world that kept them in submission to it. Human beings needed a covenant with their Creator that was not contingent on human ability to keep it. The Israelites received such a covenant, which we know as the Covenant with King David. In the Covenant with David, God promised to send a Messiah through the line of King David who would establish the Kingdom of God in a way that could last eternally. It was a covenant that was only contingent on the Messiah’s ability to keep it, not the ability of humans to keep it. The kingdom God offered was eternal union with Him, and that union would be possible for every person who submitted through faith to being incorporated into the Body of Christ, the Messiah – the “Key of David.” Submitting to the process of that incorporation in this life means we can share (at least progressively) in the capacity Christ demonstrated to withstand being dominated by love of worldly things. For a Christian, total freedom is a state of being totally unencumbered by what constricts that Christian from becoming the full actualization of what God made him or her to be. Being dominated by love of the world constricts a person’s growth into that full actualization. For those of us who persevere in faithful submission to the process into the next life, we will indeed have grown into the perfectly free full actualizations of what God made us to be. The key to that freedom is the Key of David, as today’s O Antiphon proclaims. As Christmas approaches, let us remember the freedom Christ’s coming made possible. As stated earlier, those of us who persevere will not be totally free until the next life. But why not try to see just how free we can become in the meantime? All we have to do is submit.