Monday, July 10, 2006

Daily Bread The first reading in today's Mass is from the prophet Hosea. This is one of my favorite passages from the entire Bible. It reveals to us the truest image of Who God is, His deepest desire, and it unveils also the secret yearnings of every human heart! If you've grown up with false images of God, seeing God as a distant Force, an Energy, a cold-hearted Judge, an old and irrelevant Grandfather or a kind of Santa Claus.... then may the words of this reading smash those false idols and empty images of the Creator. He is above all things a Lover. Thus says the LORD: I will allure her; I will lead her into the desert and speak to her heart. She shall respond there as in the days of her youth, when she came up from the land of Egypt. On that day, says the LORD, She shall call me “My husband,” and never again “My baal.” (Master) 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. There are so many who have been wounded in life, women and men, by false fathers. Perhaps from the earliest age, the one man who was meant to mirror the Heavenly Father was an anti-father, a dominating, self absorbed, or worse, abusive person. Perhaps there was no father present at all, and we grew up thinking the Real Father God was just as distant from our lives? But the True Father is the One calling us to trust that He is here. He approaches as a Gentleman, a suitor, offering love and intimacy. But He will never force. So many in our world continue to doubt this image of God as a Lover. We build walls, we put out names that emasculate His Fatherhood. He becomes a she, or a Spirit, or a Power, or a Creator only. But it's for a reason that God revealed Himself as Father, and Jesus as Son. And there is a reason why the old myths spoke of heavenly gods descending, pouring in life, fertilizing the earth, and the earth open and receiving the seed; pagans made gods of the air to be gods and the earth a mother and a womb. The saints and mystics through the ages have said that in relation to the True God, we are all feminine. May this true image of God in Hosea today penetrate our minds and hearts, sinking in past the layers of fear and falsehood that our culture has covered us in. Come Lord Jesus, the Bridegroom! Enter in and captivate our hearts! And let us listen to your voice speaking to us: I will lead her into the desert and speak to her heart. The desert is that place of purification, where our old ideas and false idols will be broken and the truth of who God is will set us free!
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