"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."
I had never noticed before I started this posting on the O Antiphons just how much they refer to freedom. I think we all tend to forget, because our lives are so comfortable (especially compared to most people through most of history), how bound we are. I'm bound by customs that have become law in my head, and by my own pre-judgements of things and situations, and by choices I've made in the past, and many other things I'm rarely aware of. Just because there are no chains on my ankles doesn't mean I don't need the Lord to come and set me free!
This year I am aware of several friends and relatives who stand in the shadow of death, both physical and spiritual. Some are despondent and gloomy, but some evidence joy, because they have been set free from the darkness. Event though they still live in the shadow, they can see the light of freedom. Would God we all possessed this key!