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BEING CRUEL TO BE KIND

Father Francis's picture
Fourteenth Week in Ordinary Time

Hos. 8:4-7, 11-13 & Mt. 9:32-38

Hosea is known as the prophet of love. It was he who gave the people God's message, “I will betroth you to myself forever.” It must have been difficult for the prophet of love to pronounce the warnings found in the First Reading. On first hearing this does not have the ring of a lover's voice, and yet his words are motivated by nothing other than love.

The people had abandoned God for the worship of pagan gods. Hosea, through his admonitions, wanted only to call the people back to His loving embrace. True love often demands saying and doing what is best for people, even though that form of love must hurt at first.

When Hamlet in Shakespeare's play admonished his mother, Queen Gertrude, for her immorality, she complained about his cruelty with bitter tears. Hamlet replied, 'I am cruel only to be kind.'

In today’s Gospel Jesus is seen curing sickness and disease. That was what the people needed at the time. On other occasions we know Jesus condemned improper practices - when He was no less loving than when curing sickness. True love means saying and doing what is best for people.

In our own lives there are times when we may wonder whether God really loves us. When everything seems to be going wrong, it is difficult to believe that there is a loving God Who is directing our lives.

Lord Jesus, may we accept the truth that whatever God does, He does out of love, and what He does is best for us.

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