O Adonai and leader of Israel, you appeared to Moses in a burning bush and you gave him the Law on Sinai, O come and save us with your mighty power.

Our O Antiphon this evening invokes God as Adonai and Leader who appeared to Moses in the burning bush and gave him the Law on Sinai, as we read in the Book of Exodus.  God, the Lord of creation, intervened in the life of his people at a time when they were sorely oppressed and forsaken in Egypt – when their situation seemed humanly hopeless and Moses himself was fleeing for his life from Pharoah, having killed an Egyptian and buried him in the sand.
When we look around us today our situation is no different – we see people in their millions fleeing for their lives from war and violence; people enslaved in so many ways by the glamour of riches and addictions of every kind; the problem of human trafficking and pornography – just to name a few.  There are so many people searching frantically for happiness which eludes them and lets them continually disappointed and depressed because they are searching in the wrong places.  Sometimes, like the Israelites in Egypt, we can feel that God has abandoned us or we even question if He really exists. 
Yet it was He who took the initiative to reveal Himself to Moses as he went about his daily tasks of attending the flocks and told Moses that He, God, was well aware of the suffering of His people and that He intended to rescue them from their slavery and redeem them with ‘outstretched arm’– and He gave them the Law, not to enslave them again but to lead them to true freedom as His very own people and He would be their God. 
However He needed Moses’ co-operation – He gave him the mission of leading His people from slavery to freedom and when Moses objects God simply re-assures him of His Divine Presence – ‘I shall be with you’ was his reply.  In revealing the Divine Name YAHWEH – I AM WHO AM – He empowered Moses for his mission. 
In this morning’s Gospel the angel appears to Joseph and tells him that Mary, his betrothed, has conceived a child by the Holy Spirit and he must name him JESUS because he will save his people from their sins.  He will be Emmanuel – God with us – thus fulfilling in a wonderful way the promises made to Moses.  Whereas when God appeared in the burning bush, Moses was told to take off his shoes and come no nearer, as he was standing on holy ground, Jesus the very Son of God comes among us as a baby clothed in our skin so that we can all draw close to him and he to us.
As we prepare for his coming to us anew this Christmas, may we who bear the name Christian open our hearts and allow him to enter our lives with his light and love; his peace and joy – gifts which riches cannot buy.  May he so live in us and we in him that we in our turn will become beacons of his light and hope for all our brothers and sisters near and far as we journey towards our Father’s house.   
O Adonai and leader of Israel, you appeared to Moses in a burning bush and you gave him the Law on Sinai, O come and save us with your outstretched arm.