Tonight’s antiphon recalls the magnificence and mystery of YHWH. Our God is a jealous God, one who allows no pretenders, no distractions to His people.
O sacred Lord of ancient Israel, who showed yourself to Moses in the burning bush, who gave him the holy law on Sinai mountain: come, stretch out your mighty hand to set us free.
For whatever reason, the Lord chooses to reveal himself to Moses and the people with a male personality. This is unique to Judaism – all other religions of the near Middle East had either a chief goddess or at least a pantheon of gods and goddesses. This God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is different He is singular — no other gods or goddesses needed or allowed.
He chooses a ragamuffin clan in the desert to be his own. He cares for them and protects them, even though they forsake Him time and time again. He teaches them in simple ways, ways that they can understand. And they repeat a cycle over and over:
- The children of Israel cling to their God – things go well
- The children of Israel are on the top of the world – they drift from their God
- The children of Israel don’t need God – everything goes to pot
- The children of Israel repent – God liberates them and the cycle begins again
Let us pray today that our own country realizes the continuous mistakes we make. We cling to possessions and stuff, and not to the One who called us and apportioned us and adopted us as His precious sons and daughters. You see, false gods aren’t just people; they’re things, too. May the Lord God of Israel liberate us from our greed and from the distractions that obscure our adoration of Him.