For this holy Day, a quote from Pope Benedict, a spoken reflection by me (excuse the ambient knocking noise outside my car where I recorded), and a hymn.
Israel has committed “adultery”
and has broken the covenant;
God should judge and repudiate her.
It is precisely at this point
that God is revealed to be God
and not man:
“How can I give you up, O Ephraim!
How can I hand you over, O Israel!
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 not man,
the Holy One in your midst” (Hosea 11:8-9).
God’s passionate love for his people
is at the same time a forgiving love.
It is so great
that it turns God against himself,
his love against his justice.
Here Christians can see
a dim prefigurement of the mystery of the Cross:
so great is God’s love for man
that by becoming man
he follows him even into death,
and so reconciles justice and love. — Pope Benedict XVI