Monday in the Fourteenth Week of Ordinary Time

“I will lead her into the desert and speak to her heart” (Hos. 2:18). Ours is a God of compassion and love. He demonstrated this by sending his only-begotten Son into the world for our salvation. Hosea presents us with the image of a loving Father who wants to have a heart-to-heart conversation with one of his children. In Christ, all the issues are placed on the table and the path to healing and forgiveness is explored. Jesus took our fragile human nature to himself to become our yokemate. With him at our side, we need never walk alone. No matter how often we fall or turn away from the path, God is willing to enter the wilderness of our lives and speak our hearts. Recall how Jesus spoke to Peter the night before he died, “I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen you brothers” (Lk. 22:32). In the same way, He speaks to us in our hours of darkness.

We can find great comfort and consolation in these words of Saint Benedict, “Never despair of God’s mercy” (RB, 4.73). God is always with us. Because of his infinite love, he can deliver us from danger and free us from our sins. Imitating His Father, the Beloved Son desires to speak to our hearts. He came into the world to save sinners and bind up their wounds. The Good Shepherd is always willing to seek out and find the lost. The words of Isaiah apply to us. “He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart” (Is. 40:11). In his loving embrace may we come to know and believe that we are loved and treasured,

And he will raise you up on eagle’s wings,
bear you on the breath of dawn,
make you to shine like the sun,
and hold you in the palm of his hand.
(On Eagle’s Wings, Michael Joncas)