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 an outstretched arm!

O Adonai,
et dux domus Israël,
qui Moyse in igne flammae rubi apparuisti,
et ei in Sina legem dedisti:
veni ad redimendum nos in brachio extento.

Biblical References: ES 3-7/8 , IS 33- 21/22, 11-4/5, LC 1-51.

     The second Major Antiphon recognizes to Christ the title of “Adonai” given to God by the people of Israel ,so that they did not pronounce  the Name Yaveh, revealed by God Himself to Moses in the burning bush. This antiphon reminds also this biblical  event and centres on Moses , the Leader, the Chief who led the Jews to freedom in the  Promised Land, the legislator who gave, to the Chosen People,  the law of the Ten Commandements, sign of the alliance in between God and His People,
     Adonai is the Omnipotent Lord known by Israel as the Creator of Universe and Leader of the same People that He united and organized. The latin word “dux” helps to understand very well God as supreme Leader of His People when the Italian translation , “guida”, “ scout”, shows the way followed by God during the cenuries, through the history.
Into the key-word , “apparuisti” , i.e. “ You showed yourself”, the Revelation given by God about Himself and the beginning of the dialogue with His  creatures , the Salvator, is pointed out.
     The history becomes, in this way, the history of Salvation, when God shows His Presence . Here we remember God appearing to Moses into the burning bush, not burning down. In front of this unnatural phaenomenon Moses comes shocked and says: “I will to get closer and see this wonderful spectacle, to know why the bush is not burning out.” In this occasion, God reveals His Name snd His Vocation.
     The burning bush is a basic happening  in he Ancient Testament as well in the New One, for God reveals His Name, telling that He is not an anonimous force but a Person, able to relate wih he human being, as a Man Himself. In the same Revelation of the burning bush, God says : “ I am Who I am”, revealing His Mistery through His misterious Name ,Iahve : God the Omnipotent, over everything.  In the Revelation of the Horeb, God is intrpduced close to man, wishing to preserve His People, God hidden and ineffable, the Hight of being and Every Perfection, without beginning nor end, without birth nor death.
     In front of the burning bush, Moses  took off his sandals and covered his face with a veil. As well  as Moses, the man knows himself as very poor and unworthy.
     Isaia , faced with God’ glory,  the three times Saint, will have the same experience and will see himself as a man with impure lips (IS 6-5) ; Peter, faced with Jesus  showing His Power while calming the lake water, cries: “Lord, get away from me, as I am sinner”. (LC. 5-8)
     But even if the man is unworthy, God shows Himself and dialogues with the sinner, for He is  the Mercy, the Goodness, the Forgiveness. In the Ancient Covenant, God introduces Himself through different signs, before and after His Revelation to Moses. We can remember the Jacob’s Stairs, the fire Column during the Exodus, the Tent to  meeting, the Sanctuary, after Israel settled inthe Promised Land..
     In the Prophets’ times God showed Himself as a soft wind or through Ezechiel’s visions. God appears indeed in order to be known by the man.
     All these signs prepare the supreme sign of Christmas, the definitive manifestation of God. In front of this mistery, apostle John exclaims, in his first letter:
     “The Life became visible, we have seen It, and we give testimony about that, and we annonce the Eternal Life that was close to Father and became visible to us”.( 1 GV 1-2)
      This antiphon appeals to Moses as legislator promulgating (MT 5-1) the New Law of Love, completing “the law and the prophets”.
      The Vatican Council II has expressed very well the idea that people are led by Christ with His New Law of Love in order to prepare the Reign of God  through the Gods sons’ dignity and freedom. We are led to the new freedom by Christ, new Moses.

 

 

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