“I myself taught Ephraim to walk, I myself took them by the arm, but they did not know that I healed them” (Hos 11:3).

The Father and His chosen people… What a love story with so many facets! In yesterday’s verses we heard that the more God called them, the more the children of Israel turned away from Him and turned to idols.

Today the Lord laments that they did not understand His love and tender affection for them. God wanted to heal them, but they did not understand.

How could this happen?

To answer this question, we must bear in mind that already in Paradise man was deceived by the Evil One, who gave him a false image of God. He made him believe that God was withholding something good and important from him, namely the knowledge of good and evil (Gen 3:4-5). In this way, the image of a good Father, who gives His children everything they need for their life in time and eternity, was distorted.

To this day the Enemy continues to work with this deception, so that people do not have the true image of God before their eyes and in their hearts. Not even with the coming of Jesus into the world has the true image of God, as the loving Father who always loves us, been awakened in all people. The devil still succeeds in darkening this image and, in the worst case, in distorting it into the opposite.

What is the remedy for this evil?

We have to internalise the true image of God as Jesus transmitted it to us, by meditating deeply on the respective passages of Holy Scripture. We have to get rid of all the lies and deceptions that still linger within us about our Father, wherever they come from. We can ask Him Himself for the grace to know Him as He truly is.

God, who carries His children in His arms, wants to be known. On an objective level, it is a great offence to His love to have distrust of Him in our hearts and to listen to the whispers of the Enemy, which prevent us from responding to His love as the truth would have us do. Let us never listen to such voices, which want to keep us away from God! Rather, let us reject them with determination.

Otherwise, we will not only offend God in His love for us, but we will also block ourselves from becoming more loving people, remaining trapped in a false – or at least a very imperfect – image of our Heavenly Father.

Let us meditate on the wonderful words that God speaks through the Prophet Hosea. They are not only for the people of Israel, but for all people, whom He teaches to walk and whom He wants to heal.