1 “Come, let us return to the LORD; for he has torn, that he may heal us; he has stricken, and he will bind us up.
2 After two days he will revive us; on the third day he will raise us up, that we may live before him. 3 Let us know, let us press on to know the LORD; his going forth is sure as the dawn; he will come to us as the showers, as the spring rains that water the earth.” 4 What shall I do with you, O Ephraim? What shall I do with you, O Judah? Your love is like a morning cloud, like the dew that goes early away.
5 Therefore I have hewn them by the prophets, I have slain them by the words of my mouth, and my judgment goes forth as the light. 6 For I desire steadfast love and not sacrifice, the knowledge of God, rather than burnt offerings.
9 He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous and despised others:
10 “Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, ‘God, I thank thee that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week, I give tithes of all that I get.’
13 But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me a sinner!’ 14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for every one who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted.”
HOSEA THE PROPHET offers balm for the afflicted soul who has wrenched the heart of God caused by harlotry. Hosea wishes to emphasize that sacrifices and burnt offerings is of no avail when the hearts and minds of the soul making the offering are devoid of sincere love!
Hope is at hand for the repentant dry soul who has offended God.Verse two is a prophecy that points to the Son of God who shall offer his life, die and rise on the third day to reunify the repentant sinner to the Father.
St LUKE’S GOSPEL features a parable that must give pause to the believer who is of the view that because he or she have been “saved by the blood of Christ,” they are necessarily in right standing with God? The parable juxtaposes the prayer of a self acknowledged sinner and a self-righteous man who conclude that his bed is made in heaven!?
A paraphrase from the Council of Trent: Baptism is the ‘first spotless robe’ given by Christ to us His prodigal sons and daughters (Lk 15:22) that begins our walk with Christ whereby we are made righteous by and through His meritorious grace working through faith that prepare the impious sinner to be freely justified which is not merely a remission of sins, but is accompanied by sanctification and the renewal of the inward man by and of the gifts, whereby the unjust man becomes just.
We are being saved-a work in progress- and receive God’s favour “day by day” when we humbly partake in the breaking of bread in the Holy Eucharist (Acts 2:46,47) and the sacrament of reconciliation when we beat our chest ‘Mea culpa,Mea culpa,Mea culpa!’ an acknowledgement of our state of sinfulness. You and I are an ongoing work of God’s mercy and grace. Our Lord is unambiguous in His admonition that if we exalt or elevate ourselves to the extent that we imply that we are a personification of righteousness, then we shall be found wanting on the last day!
LET US PRAY: Psalms 51:3-4,18-19
3 For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me.
4 Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done that which is evil in thy sight, so that thou art justified in thy sentence and blameless in thy judgment. 18 Do good to Zion in thy good pleasure; rebuild the walls of Jerusalem, 19 then wilt thou delight in right sacrifices, in burnt offerings and whole burnt offerings; then bulls will be offered on thy altar.
firstname.lastname@example.org Henry R SYLVESTER
Note: The daily scripture readings are taken from the Roman Missal which the Catholic Church use in the daily Celebration of the Holy Eucharist throughout the world.Some weekly readings may differ because of the celebration of local feast days of saints around the world.
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