GET THE MESSAGE?
GET THE MESSAGE?
“I will love them freely.” —Hosea 14:5
Today we conclude the readings from the book of Hosea, and the logical concluding questions are: “Did we get the message given by the prophet Hosea? Has the message sunk deep into our hearts in order to be applied to our lives without reservation or exception?”
The revelation the Lord gave through Hosea is that God’s Love for us is unconditional. As the Lord told Hosea to marry and love an adulterous wife, so the Lord loves us even if we choose to be unfaithful to Him through sin (see Hos 1:2).
Have we accepted the Grace to believe that God’s Love for us is perfect, infinite, unconditional, and unchangeable? As Baptized Sons and Daughters of God, we should be unshakably secure in our Father’s Love. This should make us truly free and profoundly at peace, but are we? What is keeping us from feeling this way?
What does Jesus mean in today’s Gospel when He says that we, His disciples, must be sheep in the midst of wolves? Mt 10:16 Doesn’t the prophet Isaiah foretell a time when wolves and lambs will dwell in peace (Isaiah 11:6 and 65:25). This Old Testament prophecy certainly refers to the second coming of Christ when all will be united under the Lordship of Jesus after He has put down His enemies and established the reign of God over the heavens and the earth. This is our Hope our desire to achieve. But, in the meantime, we disciples must expect opposition and persecution from those who oppose the Gospel and the coming of God's kingdom. We may be challenged, even be hated by family, friends and neighbors who place world value over Heaven. However, if we trust in the teachings of Jesus, we will be given at those moments what we are to say and do. Mt 10: 19
We must continue to prepare ourselves each day to be ready to serve and face hardships for Christ and His Kingdom. Jesus never hesitated to tell His disciples what they might expect if they chose to follow Him. Here Jesus says to us: This is my task for you at its grimmest and worst - do you accept it? This is not the world's way of recruitment for service and toil with promise of honor and reward. Remember what Jesus tells us today, whoever endures to the end will be saved. Mt 10: 22
This is not the message we prefer to hear when Jesus commissions us in His service for the advancement of God's kingdom and the battle against Satan's kingdom of darkness and death. Nonetheless, our privilege is to follow in the footsteps of the Lord and Master who willingly laid down His life for us in order to bring us victory over Satan, sin, and death. The questions to meditate on today are: Do we believe in God’s Love for us and are we willing to accept hardship and suffering in serving the Lord Jesus Christ? Our answers will show if we get the message or not.
"Lord Jesus, help me to patiently and joyfully accept the hardships, adversities, and persecution which come my way in serving you and your kingdom of love, truth, and goodness. Strengthen my faith and give me courage that I may not shrink back from doing your will."
May God’s Grace and Blessings Always be with You and Yours!! Our Lady of Guadalupe – Pray for us!!
Yours in Christ,
St. Clare of Assisi
Fr. Vincent Nguyen
on Friday, July 10 at 6:30AM