Our first reading is from Hosea, a priest of that northern
kingdom that came about when Solomon died in 931 b.c. His son, Rehoboam, immediately
on succeeding Solomon, slapped such heavy taxes on the people, that ten of the
tribes broke away.
They then, for two hundred years led a separate life as the
Kingdom of Israel; coming to an end when the people were taken away by Assyria in
Hosea’s wife, Gomer, turned aside to other men; and God made
Hosea’s pleading with Gomer to stand for his pleading with Israel.
God says, “I will allure her, leading her into the desert, speaking to her
As with Jeremiah he said, “I remember the devotion of your youth, how
you loved me as a bride; following me in the desert, in that land unsown.”
God, is now making Hosea’s pleading with his wife stand for
his pleading with us. Pleading with us, he says, “Straight are the paths of the
Lord. In them the just walk, but sinners stumble and fall.”