40 Shades of Lent, Saturday, Week III, 21 March 2020
Hosea 6:1-6 <*(((>< +++ ><)))*> Luke 18:9-14
Your words today, O Lord, are so true.
And so painful, too.
What can I do with you, Ephraim? What can I do with you, Judah? Your piety is like a morning cloud, like the dew that early passes. For this reason I smote them through the prophets, I slew them by the words of my mouth. For it is love that I desire, not sacrifice, and knowledge of God rather burnt offering.Hosea 6:4-6
We could feel your sadness, O Lord, speaking to us who have become like your people Israel. Slay us with your words as we close the first week of our heightened community quarantine deep in confusion and loss when our leaders fail – or refuse – to rise to maturity and statesmanship when concern for ego and turfs have become their main preoccupation while others are nowhere to be found.
Where is the love, O Lord, they have promised us, our country?
But the more painful question we all have to answer really is where is our love? Where is our love for our country expressed in electing all these officials we now have? Where is the love we have promised to one another, of husband and wife, of parents and children, of siblings, of friends?
We have sinned, O God our Father, because we have failed or refused to love and share your immense love for each one of us.
Forgive us, for we have lost the essence of love, of forgetting one’s self in favor of the beloved. We have loved our selves too much, thinking we are always just and right, truly the ones for whom today’s gospel is meant for without exceptions.
Jesus addressed this parable to those who were convinced of their own righteousness and despised everyone else. Two people went up to the temple area to pray; one was a Pharisee and the other was a tax collector.Luke 18:9-14
We have thought that love is when the good times roll, when there is laughter and pleasure, when there is affluence. Worst of all, we have thought that love is a material expressed in things or mere feelings we always show in sweet nothings.
Teach us again to remember that love is a person … because you are love, O God!
Deus caritas est (1 John 4:8).
Let us love, love, and love truly like Jesus your Son who gave himself for us on the cross. Amen.