And in that day, declares the Lord, you will call me ‘My Husband,’ and no longer will you call me ‘My Baal.’ And I will make for them a covenant on that day with the beasts of the field, the birds of the heavens, and the creeping things of the ground. And I will abolish the bow, the sword, and war from the land, and I will make you lie down in safety. I will betroth you to me in faithfulness. And you shall know the Lord. And in that day I will answer, declares the Lord, I will answer the heavens, and they shall answer the earth.
Today we hear of an aspect of God’s love that is described as a marital love: God is longing for his people, as a man is longing for a beloved bride! This tender love of God for his people is already experienced in the Old Covenant and becomes even clearer with the coming of Jesus!
To put it humanly, but still aptly, God does not give up to search His people! All the setbacks caused by the infidelity of his people do not cause God to leave us! This is the reality that gives us hope, which always surrounds us and is always ready to strengthen us!
The promise made today is that, in order to remain in the used terms, the people will be legally entrusted to God and will no longer remain in an adulterous relationship with the Baal! This picture is very speaking, and we as Catholics can understand it well! If a validly sacramental marriage exists, then other relationships, which include the special acts of marriage, are illegal and thus a break of the marriage covenant!
This also applies to the Church! She is entrusted to the Lord! When she neglects her mission and connects with the spirit of the world, she commits a kind of spiritual adultery!
God, on the other hand, wants to make a covenant with Israel, including all creatures, and he assures his people wonderful gifts: the end of war, peace and security! God’s promise is forever, for He will never leave men, neither in time nor in eternity!
Particularly beautiful is the statement about the bride’s prize, which God initiates in the legitimate marriage with his people: God’s righteousness and the establishment of justice, love and mercy!
What applies to the people also happens in the human soul: when the soul turns away from sin and returns to God, she enters into the legitimate relationship of the creature with the Creator! As long as the soul remains in sin, that is, in the realm of darkness, she lives in an illegitimate relationship with the Baal! She commits adultery!
But if conversion takes place and the soul calls God as her Creator and Redeemer, then the grace of God can enter the soul and God brings with him all the gifts that are mentioned in the text! The inner war ceases, peace and security enter the soul! God now adorns the soul with his righteousness and cloths her with love and mercy! The eternal covenant becomes effective, God professes to his bride!
In such many ways God expresses his love for his people, for us human beings, and always wants us to understand that this love never rests and waits for our answer! As soon as this is done, the love of God becomes a feast of love! God’s will to bring salvation to us can be realized and we call God with his real name – adore him in truth and spirit – and recognize more and more His love for us!