The Lord says, "When Israel was a child, I loved him and called him out of Egypt as my son. But the more I called to him, the more he turned away from me. My people sacrificed to Baal; they burned incense to idols. Yet I was the one who taught Israel to walk.

I took my people up in my arms, but they did not acknowledge that I took care of them. I drew them to me with affection and love. I picked them up and held them to my cheek; I bent down to them and fed them. "They refuse to return to me, and so they must return to Egypt, and Assyria will rule them. War will sweep through their cities and break down the city gates. It will destroy my people because they do what they themselves think best. They insist on turning away from me. They will cry out because of the yoke that is on them, but no one will lift it from them.

"How can I give you up, Israel? How can I abandon you? Could I ever destroy you as I did Admah, or treat you as I did Zeboiim? My heart will not let me do it! My love for you is too strong. I will not punish you in my anger; I will not destroy Israel again. For I am God and not a mere human being.

I, the Holy One, am with you. I will not come to you in anger.

The Prophet Hosea

The Season of Lent begins on Wednesday 14 February this year, a truly romantic day - a great day for Lent to begin. After all the Season of Lent is the time when God romances us. God is the Romantic. His love for us never fades. He is truly in love with us. Human romances come and go, but God is different. God is the one who is present with us even when we are not feeling romantic, even when we may have given up on Him. God is with us especially when we give up on ourselves. In his eyes we are always beautiful, always a delight, always worthwhile - no matter how we may look to others or to ourselves.

Regardless of how our lives turn out, we are always attractive to God, because He above all knows our true value. He has made us uniquely in his image. In each of us there is something of God, which is unique and cannot be found anywhere else.

But like all romance, like all true love - it takes two to tango. He always has his dancing shoes on - how about you?

Fr. Martin

PS, If you're not sure how to tango, start with the little piece above from the Prophet Hosea.





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