Hosea 14:1 – 9
Psalm 81
Luke 12:28 – 34
Today’s Word of God from prophet Hosea not only invites us to return to God by way of
conversion of our hearts to the Lord, but also brings home to us the loving tenderness of God as
he says “I will heal their disloyalty, I will love them with all my heart, my anger has turned from
them. ‘To this our response cannot but be what we pray in today’s Collect, ‘Merciful Father, fill
our hearts with your love and keep us faithful to the gospel of Christ. Give us the grace to rise
above our human weakness.’
Particularly moving are also the words through Hosea, ‘Let the wise man understand these words.
Let the intelligent man grasp their meaning. For the ways of the Lord are straight and virtuous
men walk in them, but sinners stumble.’ They indicate that worldly wisdom and intelligence are
different from that of God. The virtuous men absorb God’s ways; they walk by them; they are
enthused by them; they are absorbed by them as they are life-giving to them. But they are also
stumbling blocks to sinners, to those who are under the domineering influence of the power of
evil let loose by the Devil. ‘Whoever does not pray to Jesus Christ, prays to the Devil. (First
Homily as Pope Francis on March 15, 2013)
Today’s Gospel we read a scribe approaches Jesus and asks him: “What is the first of all the
commandments?” Naturally Jesus replied what he had learned as a small child: “There is only one
Lord and God.”  And you are “to love the Lord your God with your whole heart, soul and mind.”
I assume these words are very familiar to you. For many of us, these words were etched on in
minds and hearts at a very young age. Hopefully, this continues to be true today. However, these
words are so very familiar to us that we may not even hear them. In essence, Jesus asks only two
things of us: to love God with all our hearts and to love our neighbor as ourselves.  Sounds
simple, doesn’t it?
The challenge in Jesus’ statement is that our focus in life may be very divided.  Take a few
minutes and honestly ask yourself: How many times a day do I think about God, Jesus, or the
Spirit?  Do I take or make time to pray every day?  Do I pray once, twice, several times a day, or
not at all?   Then ask yourself: Am I happy with my responses?  If not, do you want to make more
effort to pray and spend time with God, Jesus, or the Spirit?  Or are you content with your life as
it is?
Now that you have reflected on your relationship with God, Jesus, and the Spirit, ask yourself:
How do I strive to love my family members, my neighbor, my co-workers or someone I happen to

meet on the street?  Do I consciously strive to love every person I encounter, even the individuals
I may not like?
Hopefully, the time we spend with God each day makes us more aware of the people we
encounter every day.   God’s love for us and our love for God should flow out from us to the
individuals and the people with whom we interact, work and live.

How do I experience the power of evil within me and pray to God to take it away from my life?
God bless. Have a wonderful day