Lent Week 3
First Reading: Hosea 14:1-9 Ps. 81:6c-8a.8bc-9.10-11ab and 17 Gospel: Mt 12:28b-34
Dear Christians, we are reminded that God is one and only Him we ought to love. It’s through our love for Him, we recognize his voice and not of other gods. Hosea calls the people to return to the Lord because they had listened to the voice of other gods. Their love for the genuine God of the people was no more among them. The desire of God is that all may walk in his ways. This message is portrayed in the gospel in a different style of the greatest commandment.
The central message of Jesus and Hosea is that, all things emanates from one God who is to be loved above all else with all our hearts, soul, mind and strength. The love of God becomes the first priority of the Christian life and cannot be compromised. This love is manifested both in our faith and love of the neighbor. We can’t claim to love our God yet we hate our neighbors who are created in the image and likeness of God. The main question is, how can one love God and love his neighbor has he loves him/herself? It is only through obedience, charity and prayer.
1. Love through obedience. God wants us to obey Him. We obey God by doing what he has commanded us to do even though we can experience up and downs. God does not look at what actions we can carry out, rather, He looks to see if we are willing to submit our human will to His divine will. True love is shown by obedience. The obedience has to be extended to those in authority i.e. in our work places, family church leaders etc.
2. Love through charity. God is to be loved above all else. This love is extended to others without partiality. We cannot say that we love God if we do not live charity beyond the boundaries of our comfort zone. God is radical and calls us to love Him in others. “What you do to the least of my brothers and sisters you do this to me,” He said. True love is shown by our charity. During this season of lent, have I touched the life of those in need of me? Charity is not all about material help as many thinks. Charity involves educating others, emotional caring, evangelizing and even entertaining them with our gift of nature and Grace.
3. Love through prayer. We are reminded by the Catechism of the Catholic Church (no. 2658) that “love is the source of prayer.… It enables us to respond to Him by loving as He has loved us.” To love God we need to obey and to love others more than ourselves. However, this is impossible without prayer. If prayer enables us to respond, it is only because prayer is where we transform our wills. Becoming like Christ is the purpose of prayer. To love Christ is to become like Christ. To make this change takes prayer. Thus true lovers pray. Praying for others is a clear sign that you wish them well. Wishing well for others is a manifestation of Love one has for them. We need to pray for our families, workmates, school mates and even our enemies.
Let us pray
Lord Jesus, I surrender all to you. Amen.