The book of the prophet Hosea always brings tender thoughts to my mind, even though the book has moments of real scolding for people who have turned away from God. That is because what I hear is the gentle invitation: “Return, O Israel, to the LORD, your God.”
The invitation comes in the midst of a people far removed from God’s way and the loving relationship he once called them to have. They have rejected God, and as a result, things are not going well. But if they would heed the invitation to return to God, they would discover the loving relationship God desires with them.
As we continue to “hunker down” in the midst of the COVID19 pandemic, maybe this is a time to see that we too need to return to the Lord. Maybe this shocking illness, evil at it is, can become for us another example of God bringing good from evil.
There is less to do and so we have more time to pray. Maybe we have felt that we have been too far away from our families. With more and more happening from home, we have a great opportunity to spend more time with our families.
The purpose of Lent is that penance that brings us closer to God. In many ways, penance has been imposed upon us by this virus. But if it is to be true penance, we must find the ways it can open us up to a deeper relationship with God and a more profound love of neighbor.
Let us pray.
Dear Jesus, In the book of the prophet Hosea you call us to return to you and to seek his forgiveness. Lord, you know we have sinned, but your love and mercy is ready to take back the contrite heart. Send us your forgiveness, mercy and love. We make this prayer in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Music: Cheezy Piano Medley by Alexander Nakarada