Reading 1 hos 11:1-4, 8e-9Thus says the LORD:
When Israel was a child I loved him,
out of Egypt I called my son.
The more I called them,
the farther they went from me,
Sacrificing to the Baals
and burning incense to idols.
Yet it was I who taught Ephraim to walk,
who took them in my arms;
I drew them with human cords,
with bands of love;
I fostered them like one
who raises an infant to his cheeks;
Yet, though I stooped to feed my child,
they did not know that I was their healer.
My heart is overwhelmed,
my pity is stirred.
I will not give vent to my blazing anger,
I will not destroy Ephraim again;
For I am God and not man,
the Holy One present among you;
I will not let the flames consume you.
The above passage from the prophet Hosea speaks to me of God's enduring love. Do you remember the first time you were ever aware how much God loves you? Everyone has that moment of spiritual awakening when one realizes that God is not just an abstract power who controls the destiny of the world and every one in it, but a Person, who really cares and loves me. From the very beginning, He says, He has loved us. From my mother's womb, He has loved me. But true to human nature, every one has gone his or her own way. We build altars of idolatry and we have become distracted by the beautiful things of this world. What are 21st century idols? Money? Power? Freedom? Sex? Career? Ambitions? You acquire these things and you are still not happy. Something empty inside of you, like an emptiness waiting to be filled. Every one looks for love but in the wrong places. God is continuously calling but the noise of the world and the noise from within drown the Voice that says: Yet, though I stooped to feed my child, they did not know that I was their healer. But isn't it great that God is God and not man! -I will not give vent to my blazing anger, I will not destroy Ephraim again; For I am God and not man, the Holy One present among you; I will not let the flames consume you.
God, you are our source of joy and in your Light, we see light!
"If today you hear His voice harden not your hearts!"