14th Week, Friday, July 12th

14th Week, Friday, July 12th

Hosea 14:2-10 / Matthew 10:16-23 

Hosea concludes his prophecy: Return to the Lord, your God.

 There’s a line from a song in the musical Paint Your Wagon that goes something like this: “I’m so lost, so very lost, that even God can’t find me.” This line could have been applied to Israel during the period when Hosea preached. Israel had strayed far from God and from the covenant. They were lost, terribly lost. Today’s reading makes it clear that God, indeed, did make heroic efforts to find Israel. But Israel refused to be found. The nation turned further and further from God and, eventually, fell to Assyria in 722. It was a tragedy of the first magnitude. 


How do we respond to God’s overtures of love and forgiveness in our lives? “Before God can do his thing, we must do our thing.” St. Augustine (free translation)


The feeling of being forgiven is a beautiful feeling. There can be many words to describe it but the feeling is always more than words. It is a beautiful feeling because it is essentially an experience of God's love and mercy. It is also an experience of being healed and being freed from sin. It is like coming back to God and living in His presence in peace and safety. 

The 1st reading proclaims that those who repent will be forgiven and they will be so blessed that they won't be contented with just a nice and beautiful feeling. In fact, they will bloom like the lily, thrust out roots like the poplar, be beautiful like olives, grow corn that flourishes and cultivate choice vines. 

These are images of growth and fruitfulness. The experience of God's love and forgiveness should lead us to grow in love and bear fruits of works of mercy. Forgiveness is more than just a nice and beautiful feeling. It is an experience of God's love that makes us want to be loving and fruitful in mercy and forgiveness.


Opening Prayer

Lord our God, our faith is often put to the test in the confusion of our time. Let your Holy Spirit speak in us when we meet contradiction on account of the gospel of your Son. May he be our strength and peace in living with the uncertainties that are the lot of those who believe in you. Stay with us when the going is rough and bring us home to you through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Liturgy of the Word

Introduction to the First Reading

The closing chapter of Hosea is an emotional call for conversion, for a loyal return to the Lord. He alone can save, he alone is the master of history, and he alone can provide the happiness which people seek so frantically.

 Introduction to the Gospel

What Jesus says of his apostles-missionaries applies also to all who follow him: they have to live with insecurity. They will be contradicted, ridiculed, perhaps persecuted. The gospel, meant to bring peace, in reality often divides. It sets off, sets apart. It brings division even among those who claim Christ as their Lord. Jesus promised to his disciples then and now his Holy Spirit to stand by their side in their trials.

 General Intercessions

- For all churches and missionary societies, that they may proclaim Christ not by power and prestige but by humble service, we pray:  - For missionaries, that they may discover the good there is in the hearts and minds of people and in their culture, to heal, to ennoble, and to perfect them in Christ, we pray:  - For all our young churches, that they may be deeply rooted in their own people as communities of faith and love that enrich the whole Church, we pray:

Prayer over the Gifts

Lord God, Jesus, your Son, was defenceless against those who rejected him, yet he entrusted himself to you and you raised him from the dead. Give him to us now in these signs of bread and wine. Let him accompany us on the road to you, that we may remain faithful with him and persevere until the end. May we thus also live with him who is our Lord for ever.

Prayer after Communion

Lord our God, we thank you for encouraging us through the word and example of your Son Jesus Christ. His word is not comfortable  and neither was his example. Send us to make his gospel known by the way we ourselves live it. And when our ardor cools off, remind us that you are our God who sends and accompanies us through Jesus Christ our Lord.


People speaking in the name of God should not worry what to say; for Jesus assures us that the Holy Spirit is speaking through them. May God bless you, the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.