The second of the O Antiphons, which will be chanted tonight at Vespers at monasteries around the world:
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 I read this prayer, I think about all the times I reach over to my daughter and take her hand as we cross a street or a parking lot. I do it instinctively, and she usually reaches out to me instinctively as well. My outstretched arm gives her a sense of safety and security.
We all need that sense of safety and security, and whenever an unspeakable tragedy strikes we lose it. We need that outstretched arm, and when it’s so noticeably absent we ask “why?”
It’s one of those things we don’t think about until it’s missing, and don’t pray for until we miss it.
O Adonai, come and redeem us with an outstretched arm: