I Will Espouse You to Me Forever

There are many Old Testament readings I just don’t know what to make of. A week or so ago, the first Mass readings came from First Kings, one of the historical books of the of the Old Testament. I confess that I have trouble keeping the various characters straight and I have great difficulty relating to the God that is presented in those pages.

Other Old Testament passages, however, provide great solace and are full of God’s promise to His people. That is true for me of many of passages in Isaiah (“I have called you by name” “I have branded you on the palm of my hand.”). And it is true of today’s first Mass reading, taken from the Book of Prophet Hosea.

Thus says the Lord…I will espouse you to me forever: I will espouse you in right and in justice, in love and in mercy; I will espouse you in fidelity, and you shall know the Lord.

When I hear those words and their promise of God’s love and fidelity, they touch a place deep inside me. They comfort me.

The Mangificat Meditation of the Day, accompanying today’s Mass readings, is a selection from the writing of Jean Vanier. Vanier writes that “In the heart of every human being there is a quest for truth, a quest for justice, a quest for peace, a quest for love, a quest for mercy. In the heart of each one of us we have this longing for something over and above our immediate reality.”

Let the words from Hosea touch that place in your heart.