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. 

“The mystery of the Incarnation and the sheer wonder of the Christian proclamation of truth is that Christ shares His experience with each one of us. And he actively invites each one of us to enter into His own experience of the Father..  He invites us not just to make some sort of intellectual assent. he invites us to share, to share with his experience in all its fullness, to share and to be carried away by the infinite thrust of his energy, as He knows the Father and loves the Father, and as He, in his turn, is known and loved infinitely.

And this is what we are all called to” – (The Way of Unknowing by  John Main)  

We are invited  to enter the eternal moment of God’s self-communication in Jesus.

“O Adonai” is the Hebrew word for “Lord”.  God has a personal name in the Bible, but it was considered too holy for normal use, so when the Reader at public worship in the Synagogue found the holy name in the text, he read the word ‘Adonai’ or ‘Lord’ instead.

God’s appearance to Moses in the burning bush is associated with the sacred name indicated by  “Adonai” and God’s self description as “I AM WHO I AM”.  The names “Lord” and “I am” indicate that God is both known to us and is  beyond our knowledge.  He gives us his name,  yet this name directs our attention to God as he is in himself, rather than any ideas we may have of him.

The burning bush is an appropriate symbol of the God who goes before us to lead us, but is beyond our grasp and not in our power.  When he heard God speak from the bush, “Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God” (Ex.36).  The last antiphon “O Emmanuel”, speaks of God who is intimate and close to us, but the full glory of this fact is missed if we forget the immense distance between sinful man and God most holy, which only God himself can bridge.

In making man in his image and likeness, God “crowned him with glory and honour”, but by sinning, man fell short of the glory of God.  From that time on, God was to manifest his holiness by revealing and giving his name, in order to restore man to the image of his Creator. (CCC 2809)

From the Covenant of Sinai onwards, this people is “his own”  and  a “holy”  consecrated nation, because the name of God dwells in it.

The law which was given on Sinai is not on its own, but is part of the revelation of God’s love, his Will for us his children, as forgiven sinners in communion with him.  Before God gave his people the ten commandments, he freed them from their chains.  God’s Grace comes before our obedience and makes obedience a matter for joyful gratitude.

Finally, in Jesus the name of God is revealed and given to us, in the flesh, as Saviour, revealed by what he is, by his word and by his sacrifice.  This is the heart of his priestly prayer: “Holy Father, for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be consecrated in truth”. (Jn.17:11,19)  Because he sanctifies his own name, Jesus reveals to us the name of the Father ‘I have made your name known to them and will continue to make it known’ (1 Jn.17.6)    At the end of Christ’s Passover, the Father gives him the name that is above all names: Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father”. (Phil. 2.9-11)  (CCC 2812).