O Adonai

Fr. Lawrence Jagdfeld, O.F.M., Administrator

The "O" Antiphon for the "Magnificat" for December 18 is:

O Adonai, and leader of the House of Israel, who appeared to Moses in the fire of the burning bush and gave him the law on Sinai: Come and redeem us with an outstretched arm.

When Moses encountered God on Mount Sinai in the burning bush, God told Moses that His name was Yahweh, loosely translated "I Am Who Am." The second commandment of the Sinai covenant cautions the people from using the name of God in vain. In order to prevent this sin, the Hebrew people refrained from using the name at all. Instead they referred to God as "Adonai," a word that we usually translate as "Lord" but which could also be translated as "Father" or "Judge."

Isaiah foretells of the coming of the Messiah using these words: ... but with righteousness he shall judge the poor, and decide with equity for the meek of the earth; he shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips he shall kill the wicked. Righteousness shall be the belt around his waist, and faithfulness the belt around his loins. (Isaiah 11:4-5) Jesus is recognized in this oracle as the incarnation of God's righteousness.


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