There Is No Limit To God's Love
Thursday of Week 14 in Ordinary Time - Cycle II
Hosea 11:1-4, 8-9 & Mt. 10:7-15
Today's reading is one of the high points of the Old Testament revelation about God. Hosea is the prophet of God's love despite the infidelity of His people. He is famous for His image of God as a husband who continues to love an adulterous wife and who searches to bring her back home. Today's reading in a sense is even more beautiful because it prepares us for the teaching of Jesus that God is truly our Father.
Hosea presents God as a devoted Father who lifts His infant to His cheek. God is seen as nourishing His child and teaching him how to walk. Perhaps the impact of one sentence can be easily missed. God declares, "Out of Egypt I called my son." This statement refers to the Exodus when God led the lsraelites out of the slavery of Egypt and formed them into His people. It was the great, central event of the Old Testament, comparable to the death and resurrection of Jesus in the Christian era.
Although Israel has been unfaithful, God protests that He will not give vent to blazing anger. Notice that He says, "For I am God and not man." For any human parent there is a limit. Human nature can endure only so much, but with God there is no limit to His love, to His forbearance, to His power to endure. God's love never fails.
The central message of Jesus is that God is truly our Father from Whom all life and holiness comes. He taught us to call upon God as Father in prayer, and we do this every day at Mass before Holy Communion. How blessed are we in the knowledge that the Father of Jesus Christ is our Father too!
The words in today's Gospel which Jesus addressed to His 12 Apostles are addressed just as much to us. The Kingdom cannot be spread while sitting in an easy chair! Christ's work is out there in the world. His command "Go" means sensitizing our heart and eyes to those who are hungry for Christ and do not know Him. We must believe the power and grace of Christ can transform the lives of our family members and the wider community who have strayed from the Lord and those who feel they have no need of Him. We cannot take the easy route of preaching to the converted but must reach out to those professions and fields of study that have lost all sense of the dignity of the human person - especially medicine, law, politics and education. That is what the King is asking.
What response are we giving to our King? Do we wish to ignite our own zeal for His Kingdom from the furnace of divine love which burns in His heart? Do we offer Him the promise of a soldier in combat … to be courageous, honourable, persevering and worthy of the "Apostle of the Kingdom of Christ" name that we bear. We should always be aware of the fact that we have only one life to live on this Earth and not one minute must be wasted in comfort-seeking and selfishness.
Lord Jesus, make our hearts ready for this mission. Sustain it today with your strength and the ability you have given us.