Thursday, 18 December 2008

O Adonai, and Ruler of the house of Israel, Who didst appear unto Moses in the burning bush, and gavest him the law in Sinai, come to redeem us with Thy outstretched arm.

Today’s antiphon approaches the Lord (Adonai) who rules the house of Israel. Israel is the chosen people of God, the vehicle through which God reveals Himself to Israel and beyond; salvation is from the Jews.
The People of God sat uncomfortable with kings and rulers, after a lot of thinking they accepted to have kings but were really thought of as rulers rather then kings. For the Jews the only King was the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God who spoke to Moses.
This antiphon picks up that theological thread and presents us with a people, the New Israel, which now includes us too. Our only king and ruler is God who appeared to Moses in the burning bush and gave him the law on Sinai. These two events in the life of Moses before and after the Exodus show that God has been near to humanity already although in Christmas we shall see the fulfillment of this as God assumes humanity itself.
The bush was burning but it was not destroyed – Grace does not destroy nature but perfects it. Just as the bush was on fire but its integrity remained so Mary gave birth to the Christ without loosing the integrity of her virginity.
On Mount Sinai God gives his word of order and covenant on two stone tablets, in Bethlehem – the house of bread – God gives us His Word made flesh, which will remain with us especially in the Eucharistic bread.
This antiphon meditates on the God of the exodus that frees his people, in Christ we await the God who sets His people free with outstretched, giving hands made tangible in the face of the Holy Child of Bethlehem.

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