Reflection on Today’s Daily Readings by Fr. Bertrand Buby, SM
Hosea’s final chapters help us to seek God. We do this by listening to the
prophet’s call to repent and to renew ourselves as he said in one of the
images in Hosea 10:12: “Sow for yourselves justice, reap the fruit of
piety; break up for yourselves a new field, for it is time to seek the
Lord, till he come and rain down justice upon you.” We are to sow according
to the rules of justice and mercy. This verse is a call to a firm purpose
of amendment in our repentance. It is the rule of holiness that is to be
sown. “This is essential preparatory work if a harvest is to be expected.
Translated from its agricultural application into general terms, the phrase
corresponds to the modern expression ‘Turn over a new leaf.’ (Rabbi
Dr.S.M. Lehrman). When we truly turn over a new leaf then blessings,
graces, and peace follow. God patiently waits for our return to him.
Hosea, our prophet, has pointed out our failures and confronted us with
them. Now is the time to correct our relationships with one another and to
practice the commandment of love. Hosea is moving away from the negative
prophesies to the more positive ones; from the curse implications to the
blessings. Presupposed is our effort to be open to the prophetic voice of
Hosea and the other social justice prophets among the twelve. Our
misguided and untoward attitudes and judgments about others are to cease.
Justice is righteousness in our relationships with God, neighbor, and
Matthew relates how Jesus teaches his disciples about the opposition and
rejection they will suffer on account of his name. We too will suffer
persecution in some form or another–perhaps by prejudice against our
Christian way of life and lack of accepting our religious values in a very
secular mindset of many people. The narrative that is proclaimed today
helps us to understand the longest and the hardest of the beatitudes that
Jesus has given us in his Sermon on the Mount: “Blessed are those who are
persecuted for righteous sake (justice), for theirs is the kingdom of
heaven.” (cf. Matthew 5:10-11). Our narrative helps us to see what is
involved in being persecuted and how we are to react to it.
Mother Teresa handed down these words of wisdom when we feel buffeted,
rebuked, or rejected. “I know God will not give me anything that I cannot
handle, I just wish He wouldn’t trust me so much.” Amen.