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.
With this antiphon, we get a reminder of the eternal nature of God…Sacred Lord of ancient Israel, who is still active today…come…to set us free. This evokes the teaching of the great prophet Isaiah: Turn to me and be saved, all the ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other. (Is 45:22)
How is it that the Lord saves us; that He sets us free? First, as the antiphon tells us, He gave us His holy law. By these commandments, the Lord is telling us that He alone is the authentic source of life. To detach oneself from this truth is to condemn oneself to meaninglessness and unhappiness. This “law of life” (commandments) is at the heart of the human persons authenticity and completeness. (see Evangelium Vitae, #48)
This law is written on our hearts, as the Second Vatican Council so eloquently described in the Pastoral Constitution; Gaudium et Spes, The Church in the Modern World, #16:
Deep within his conscience man discovers a law which he has not laid upon himself but which he must obey. Its voice, ever calling him to love and to do what is good and to avoid evil, tells him inwardly at the right moment: do this, shun that. For man has in his heart a law inscribed by God. His dignity lies in observing this law, and by it he will be judged. His conscience is man’s most secret core, and his sanctuary. There he is alone with God whose voice echoes in his depths.
Through the history of Israel, we know that it is not easy to live faithfully according to the Lord’s law of life. Thus, the law had to reach its fullness…The law indeed was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. (John 1:17)
…come, stretch out your mighty hand to set us free… In Christ, the Sacred Lord, God indeed has stretched forth his mighty hand to set us free. In Jesus Christ, we find our perfect freedom. If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free. (John 8:32) The truth of the Sacred name of Jesus is attested to by St. Peter in the Acts of the Apostles: There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among mortals by which we must be saved. (Acts 4:12)
In Christ, we find our freedom. In Christ, we discover the Truth. In Christ, we find our salvation. So, what does it mean to be saved? For surely it is more than the forgiveness of sins. This is just the first step in the work of conversion, of transformation, of redemption. The saving work of Jesus restores what was lost through sin.
The saving work of Jesus restores us to the image of God in which every person is created. It is Christ our Sacred Lord who restores human relationships in communion, love, and unity. In our Sacred Lord, we are restored to a proper relationship with God. It is Christ, our Sacred Lord who restores the Divine Breath, who revives the Divine Life to the human soul; the Life that is immortal and eternal.
May we be always open and cooperative with this work of our Sacred Lord!