"I will allure you. I will lead you into the desert, and speak to your heart."
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 721.
Hosea’s wife, Gomer, turned aside to other men; and God made
Hosea’s pleading with Gomer to stand for his pleading with Israel. With Hosea
God says, “I will allure her, leading her into the desert, speaking to her
heart.” 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,”
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 in them".