Baldwin of Canterbury's Treatise on the Angel's Greeting
|A flower grew up from the root of Jesse|
To the angel’s greeting, with which we greet the blessed Virgin daily with such devotion as is granted us, we are accustomed to add, ‘and blessed is the fruit of thy womb.’ It was Elizabeth who, after she had been greeted by the Virgin, added these words, as though repeating the end of the angel’s salutation, ‘Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb.’ This is the fruit of which Isaiah speaks: ‘In that day the branch of the Lord shall be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the land shall be the pride and glory of the survivors of Israel.’ What else is this fruit but the holy one of Israel, himself the seed of Abraham, the Lord’s branch, and the flower growing up from the root of Jesse, the fruit of life which we share?
Blessed truly in the seed and blessed in the branch, blessed in the flower, blessed in his office, blessed in our thanksgiving and praise, Christ the seed of Abraham was made of the seed of David according to the flesh.
He alone among men is found perfected in every good, he who has been given the Spirit not by measure, so that he alone can fulfill all justice. His justice is sufficient for all peoples, according to the scriptures: ‘As the earth brings forth its shoot, and a garden makes its seed sprout up, so will the Lord bring forth justice and glory before all peoples.’ This is the shoot of justice which grows by blessing and is adorned by the flower of glory. And of what glory? A glory as sublime as can be imagined — indeed so sublime as cannot be imagined. For the flower grows up from the root of Jesse. To what height? To the highest possible point, since ‘Jesus Christ is in the glory of God the Father.’ His greatness is raised up above the heavens, so that he may be the Lord’s branch in magnificence and glory, and the fruit of the earth on high.
What fruit is there for us in this fruit? What else but the fruit of blessing from the blessed fruit? From this seed, this shoot, and this flower, proceeds the fruit of blessing; it reaches as far as ourselves: first, as it were the seed, through the grace of forgiveness; then, as in the shoot, through growth in righteousness; lastly, as in the flower, through the hope or the attaining of glory. For he is blessed by God, and in God — that is, so that God may be glorified in him; he is blessed also for us, so that blessed by him we may be glorified in him, since through the promise spoken to Abraham God gave him the blessing of all nations.