Longing for relationship – a hymn for the pandemic period
I have led music at Mass for more than five decades. One favourite is “Come Back to Me” (also called “Hosea”), written in the early 1970s by Gregory Norbet OSM.* The prophetic book of Hosea is about God’s yearning for his wayward people Israel to become faithful to him once again. Norbet’s lyrics spiritually explore human longing.
I find the imagery of the hymn inspiring and consoling for the time of the COVID-19 pandemic, and for the return afterwards to relationship—and maybe a newer, better relationship—for which we should strive. Here are some thoughts keyed to the three verses and then the refrain (“Long have I waited..”).