Monday, July 4, 2016

Monday of the Fourteenth Week in Ordinary Time

(Hosea 2:16.17c-18.21-22; Matthew 9:18-26)

Today Americans celebrate the defining moment of their existence as a people.  Two hundred and forty years ago representatives from all thirteen colonies accepted the constitution drafted by Thomas Jefferson.  The document declared independence of the colonies from England and the establishment of a new nation.  In today’s first reading Hosea prophesizes of a similarly defining moment for Christians.

Hosea is a prophet of the northern kingdom.  Like Amos he denounces the nation for ignoring God’s commands.  Here he foretells the day when Israel will accept forever the Lord as its one and only God.  It will come only after trial expressed with the metaphor of a “desert.”  From that point on the people will no longer flirt with other gods.  Rather they will stick close to the one God who will have saved them.

We see the prophecy being realized in Jesus.  We recognize in his death the “desert.” That cataclysmic experience led to his resurrection which solidifies our relationship with God forever.  It offers us hope of eternal life as it moves us to care for others.  Now we pray that our country will follow Jesus’ witness of charity for all.