Praised be Jesus Christ! I greet you very warmly! 18th of December, another antiphon to ponder. To begin with, let’s listen to Father Thomas Jarosz, a Redemptorist, and his beautiful singing.
The first part of this antiphon clearly refers to the third chapter of the Book of Exodus, in which God reveals himself to Moses, gives him the task ahead, and reveals His name to him. The phrase used here – “Adonai” – is an explicit reference to that God’s name. For whenever devout Jews read the text of the Holy Scriptures and come across God’s name in it, the Holy Tetragrammaton, they do not read this name, but replace it with the phrase “Adonai”, or “Lord”. Why? Because it is considered sacred by them, and to utter it would summon God’s presence. So why is Moses asking God’s name? What is the purpose of this? In ancient times, knowing someone’s name meant knowing their identity, their essence. In dialogue with Moses, God decides to reveal some part of his being so that the chosen people establish a personal contact with him. Let’s hear this passage: << Suppose I go to the Israelites and tell them, “The God of your fathers is sending me to you.” But if they ask me, “What’s his name?”, What will I answer? >> God said, <<I AM who I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites, “I AM is sending me to you”>>. In this answer, God first of all assures us of His constant presence with man, and on the other hand, there is a certain elusiveness in His name. God is – and will always be – above the human desire to define Him and dominate Him. For there is some tendency in us to close God in our human categories. We would like to adjust Him to our lives, have everything explained, arranged – from now on, God is to be at our fingertips, as in an application, tailored to our needs, functioning as we want, when we want. When we arrange everything in this way, when we define God in our minds, it turns out that God is eluding us. Because it is not He who is to do our will, but we are called to do His will. The words echo in our heads: “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, and your ways are not my ways.” The most important thing in our relationship with God is that we discover His presence in our lives. He assures us that He is with us every moment of our lives as He was with the Israelites. In the burning bush, He reveals that He has looked at the misfortunes of his people, heard the screams, knows the enormity of suffering, and therefore wants to free the Israelites and lead them to the Promised Land. What Israel must do is to perceive His presence and set out in faith in the direction indicated by God. The guarantee of new life is the covenant in Sinai and the Law given to the Chosen People, its observance. The Old Testament exodus – leaving the Egyptian slavery, going to the Promised Land – is a harbinger of the New Testament exodus that took place through Jesus. Jesus, as the most perfect and only mediator between God and man, announced in the person of Moses, came to free us from the bondage of sin and to lead us to a new life with God, to the Promised Land. Just as God once knew the situation of his people in Egyptian bondage, so He knows the condition of our heart, entangled in the bondage of sin – he looked at it, heard it and wants to free it. And as he once delivered the Israelites with his mighty arm, he wants to deliver us through his Son. The question is, will we let him do it? May god keep you in His care! See you tomorrow!