Therefore, I will now allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak tenderly to her… And I will take you for my wife forever; I will take you for my wife in righteousness and in justice, in steadfast love, and in mercy. I will take you for my wife in faithfulness; and you shall know the Lord. // Hosea 2:14, 19-20
These words from the prophet Hosea strike the depths of the human condition. As he addressed the divided kingdom—Israel in the north and the kingdom of Judah in the south—he also addresses us now, wherever we find ourselves. The lament of the Lord expressed through Hosea is that the people of Israel have gone astray. They have given themselves over to the worship of false gods (see Hosea 2:13) and are accused of crimes against the commandments (see Hosea 4:1-2). They have forgotten the love of their youth and no longer know the Lord.
In the midst of life’s troubles, the duties of everyday living, and even the stress and demands of ministry in the Church, we may find ourselves like the kingdom of Israel: divided, distracted, and disillusioned. We begin to give precedence to people-pleasing and comforts, pride and a getting-ahead attitude, laziness and a plethora of excuses to not spend time with Him. We become disillusioned with Him and seek satisfaction elsewhere. We flex our Martha muscles and forget that we are called to be Mary at His feet, with devoted eyes and a heart fixed on His face (see Luke 10:38-42). We come to accept the lie that we must choose between God and others, divide our time between work and prayer, when in reality, only one thing is necessary (see Luke 10:42): remaining with Him.
Divine intimacy is about learning to remain with the Lord in our inmost selves—in the secret place where Jesus tells us we should go and pray (see Matthew 6:6). This is the wilderness into which the Lord invites us: the dryness, the stillness of our own hearts where the quiet breeze can pass through, carrying the whisper of His voice speaking tenderly to us (see Hosea 2:14).
The Lord makes a bold promise to us in this passage as He did to the wayward people of Israel: “…and you shall know the Lord” (Hosea 2:20). This does not just mean head knowledge, but heart knowledge. Knowing someone, in the Biblical sense, means you really know them; it means intimacy. In Mother Teresa we see an example of how the Lord brings us into this wilderness of heart, precisely to know Him more.
Let Us Pray
Jesus, I want to know You. I want to see You each day in those whom I serve and live with, in the big and small things, learning to remain with You in the secret place where You alone are Lord. Espouse me in love and mercy. Amen.
How can you place yourself in the Presence of the Lord throughout the day that He may “speak tenderly” to you, even in the midst of mundane tasks?
Can you observe seasons in your life when you have forgotten the Lord? How did He restore you to intimacy with Him?Awaken Love: The 2023 Prayer Pledge // Day 9 #BISblog #prayerpledge // -->> CLICK TO TWEET