O Adonai

Isaiah 7.10-14; Ps 23; Romans 1.1-7; Matthew 1.18-24

We don’t actually hear this antiphon used in the liturgy this year because this day falls on Sunday. O Adonai, Ruler of the House of Israel, who gave the law to Moses on Sinai: come and save us with outstretched arm. We pray this day for Adonaï, the “God of gods and Lord of lords.” [Deuteronomy 10.17] The word can be used for an earthly lord or king [I Samuel 29.8] but it is used in the Old Testament some 450 times as a pious substitute for the Name YHWH by which the Almighty revealed himself to Israel [Exodus 3.14-15], the Name too sacred to be pronounced by human lips. (Indeed, most pious Jews to this day will not say even Adonai but substitute the circumlocution, “the Name.”)

The Lord God whom we worship doesn’t simply regard our distresses from a safe distance. “I am coming to deliver you”he promises [Exodus 3.8], the Same yesterday, today and forever. [Hebrews 13.8] He instructs us from the riches of his law. [Psalm 118(119).129-136] He invites us to accept him as Lord and Saviour [Romans 10.9] and to experience the joy and liberty of submission to his Lordship.

Posted in Daily Reflection.