Thursday of the Fourteenth Week in Ordinary Time
(Hosea 11:1-4; 8e-9; Matthew 10:7-15)
“A man had two sons” is a familiar biblical theme. We find it in the story of Adam: Cain and Abel; of Abraham: Ishmael and Isaac; of Isaac: Esau and Jacob; and, of course, of the “Prodigal Son.” Typically one son pleases the father while the other broods and rebels. Nevertheless, the father’s love encompasses both.
We could also see the theme of a man with two sons in Israel, considered as a corporate son, and Jesus. Where Israel demonstrates fickleness in its allegiance to God, Jesus gains the Father’s pleasure. In the reading from the prophet Hosea today God expresses both tenderness and outrage for His son Israel. Although Israel has continuously betrayed God, He still promises to treat the nation mercifully. God’s unconditional love for Israel is revealed when He sends His other son, Jesus, to the nation’s rescue.
God loves each of us as He loves Israel. Never mind that we have sinned. Never mind that we too often brood rather than turn to God in repentance. God not only waits to forgive us but actively seeks us out in Jesus. His words call us to righteousness. His grace empowers us to so act. We but need to turn to Him.