God is merciful and faithful
“Straight are the paths of the Lord”
Today’s readings: Hos 14:2-10; Ps 81:6-17; Mark 12:28-34
God entered into covenant with Israel and blessed them tremendously. However, they turned away from Him, and thus suffered the consequences. They collapsed through their guilt. But God does not just discard His beloved, even when they turn away. God awaits their return. “Return, O Israel, to the Lord, your God; you have collapsed through your guilt.” (Hos 14:2).
In the same way, God has called us in LCSC and entered into covenant with us.
When asked what was the first of the commandments, Jesus replied, “The first is this: ‘Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is Lord alone! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” (Mk 12:29-31).
Our covenant is all about love—God’s love for us, and our love for Him and for others. If we love God, we would obey Him and turn our lives fully to Him. If we love others, then this would define our mission in LCSC. We are to love and care for each other. This precludes speaking or relating negatively against our brethren. We are to serve others. We do this through our work of massive evangelization, and serving our co-parishioners in whatever way we can.
But at times we do not obey Him wholeheartedly. We falter in our evangelistic zeal, we are not faithful to our covenant, we fail in loving each other as true brethren, we pursue our own agenda, we have conflicts even among leaders. “But my people did not listen to my words” (Ps 81:12a).
So we suffer the consequences. “So I gave them over to hardness of heart; they followed their own designs.” (Ps 81:13). There is loss of fervor, tensions in personal relationships, disunity among brethren.
But God is merciful and faithful, ever mindful of His covenant, and will act quickly to restore us if we make the move to return to Him. “But even now if my people would listen, if Israel would walk in my paths, in a moment I would subdue their foes, against their enemies unleash my hand. Those who hate the Lord would tremble, their doom sealed forever. But Israel I would feed with the finest wheat, satisfy them with honey from the rock.” (Ps 81:14-17).
This is what we can look forward to. When we walk according to God’s ways and live out our covenant with Him, then He will empower us to continue to come against the dominion of the evil one in the world, and in the process, bless us tremendously in our own personal, family and parish life.
Reflection/action: Consider whether you can say that you love God with your whole being, and whether you love your neighbor as you love yourself. If not, repent and resolve to do better.
Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for your mercy and faithfulness. Thank you for not rejecting me and always assuring me of your welcoming me when I repent and return to you. Continue to teach me the meaning of love. You are everything to me, and I resolve to give you my all. Use me to be an instrument of unity, peace and love within our parish. Amen.
God bless you all.
“For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” (Phil 1:21)