Hosea 5.15 – 6.6
Luke 18. 9 – 14
The word of God through prophet Hosea is a marvelous revelation of God who knows that His
people, however much they sin, most, if not all, will return to hi in some or other circumstances of
their lives. He has the confidence, for He knows each one by name. Yes the Lord wants from us
primarily love and not offerings or sacrifices. Genuine love also implies taking responsibility for
our actions behavior and even thought pattern. Our thought pattern keeps on changing depending
on the nature of the acquisition of knowledge. The Lord says that He also wants from us
knowledge of God. True knowledge, that experiential knowledge of God which can be had only
through an in-depth understanding of the Word of God and listening to him in prayer, especially
contemplative prayer. Knowledge of God thus obtained can be the foundation on which our faith
life deepens and colors our thought pattern, actions, behavior and relationship with God and one
True knowledge of God enables us to return to the Lord and fills us with such confidence that in
the words of prophet Hosea, ‘He will heal us, He will bandage our wound; He will bring us back to
life; on the third day he will rise us; we shall live in His presence; that He will come is certain as
the dawn, as showers come, like spring rains watering the earth. But our love for him is almost
nothing; it is like the morning cloud or the dew that disappears quickly.
How engaging to my mind and heart are the words, ‘what I want is love and not sacrifice,
knowledge of God and not Holocausts?
It is easy to glance over the parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector and think we know what
it’s all about. The lesson looks too obvious. We imagine that we don’t tend to look down on
people, and because many of us battle with our confidence (or lack of it) we won’t consciously
assert ourselves as better than others. That is true for most of us, most of the time, until we see
behaviours in others that we dislike. At which point we can slip into imagining we are above such
things. The Pharisee’s excuse for exalting himself is that he sees things in others that he hates.
From his observation and judgement of others he is able to imagine that because he sees it, he
wouldn’t fall for it himself.
The warning in today’s Gospel passage is to beware of the risk of self- praise and the delusion it
provokes. In the end we will al learn the importance of humility, but it may have to be learned
through tough circumstance. For T.S Eliot the final temptation is to do the right thing for the
wrong reason. This is not good. This is me, doing the right thing for the wrong reason.
Our merciful God, whose ways are so above ours, knows that what I needed was an abrupt lesson
in my own stupidity, and once again that is what I got. As I stood on that platform I could hear a
thousand saints laughing their heads off.
What is humility and where do we notice it?
What does it mean to be taught a lesson in humility and has that ever happened to you?
God Bless. Have a blessed day