When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son. The more I called them, the more they went from me; they kept sacrificing to the Baals, and offering incense to idols. Yet it was I who taught Ephraim to walk, I took them up in my arms; but they did not know that I healed them.I led them with cords of human kindness, with bands of love. I was to them like those who lift infants to their cheeks. I bent down to them and fed them.
How can I give you up, Ephraim? How can I hand you over, O Israel? How can I make you like Admah? How can I treat you like Zeboiim? My heart recoils within me; my compassion grows warm and tender. I will not execute my fierce anger; I will not again destroy Ephraim; for I am God and no mortal, the Holy One in your midst, and I will not come in wrath.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved (http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations/
I drew them with human cords, with bands of love. —Hosea 11: 4
Nothing in the world has the attractive power of love. When we fall in love, we surrender the barriers that normally hold us aloof and seek to become one with the beloved. Sometimes we even do foolish things in our eagerness to express our feelings. But mature love is equally compelling, fostering commitment, sacrifice, and a lot of hard work every day. It’s not as glamorous as first love – ask any harried mother or budget-balancing dad. Yet its bands hold us together stronger than death.
—Alice Camille, 2010: A Book of Grace-Filled Days © 2009 Loyola Press, Chicago IL. For more Ignatian spiritual resources from Loyola Press, please visit www.loyolapress.com
Lord, help me to discern something special I can give to that person in my life who is always there for me. Maybe an unexpected phone call, a handwritten card, just being a 100% present — no interruptions, no drifting off thinking of all the things I need to do. I ask, Lord, that you heal any pain my loved one is suffering, that you bring hope, guidance, direction to their day, and may I always be mindful of this magnificent gift of love in my life.
—The Jesuit Prayer Team