After some verses from the prophet Hosea calling Israel to turn away from their unfaithfulness, we hear God calling out with words of patience and compassion, tenderly, as human parents plead with their wayward children to return and be reconciled. The images of Israel as a child being taught to walk, and of being held close to God’s cheek, are reminders of God’s love for us despite our selfishness, unfaithfulness, sinfulness. These images are most tender and human because they are images we can relate to. God is God after all, the prophet reminds Israel, and not man. So God’s choice to love us is uncoerced. And nothing can ever take God’s love from us because God chooses to love us.
Jesus is the face of the mercy of God, Pope Francis reminds us when he announced a Year of Mercy. And as he healed the sick, fed the hungry, raised the dead to new life, and preached Good News to the poor, so he sends collaborators in his mission to do the same. He sent the 12 to do as he did, to show humanity the face of the mercy of God. We too are sent, as we have been chosen and called. To whom will be bring today the face of the mercy of God? We have this opportunity each day. God is compassionate and tender and merciful. Our witness of faith in word and deed should point to that reality. But unless we have encountered God who is compassionate and tender and merciful, we will not be able to bring him to others.
We offered this mass for the intentions of Jacob Dunford.
Rolo B Castillo © 2020