Hosea 11:1-4, 8c-9
I knew a catholic family who had five sons and three daughters. The parents came to the church regularly and worked hard. Their children were educated and had good jobs in different cities. Even though the parents had not been educated they made sure that all their children studied well, had good jobs and got married. When their parents got older and needed their children’s support to survive and help to meet their medical expenses, hardly any sons came forward to help them, even though the parents loved their children so dearly and gave everything for their good life. But their children had forgotten all the good things that they received from their parents. They abandoned them.
In a similar way, we see in today’s first reading the Lord speaks about his love for his people whom he taught, cared for and loved. But they rejected him. At times, we too fail to realize God’s unconditional love for us each day of our lives – his protective hands safeguarding us and guiding us to a good life. At times, we fail to be grateful to God and to one another.
In the gospel, Jesus gave his disciples a two-fold commission. That is: to speak in his name and to act with his power, so that we may continue to do the work Jesus did by bringing the healing power of God to the weary and the oppressed. To do his mission we need to trust more in him than in ourselves. We are called to continue to proclaim God’s Kingdom of love by our simplicity and to serve with charity and peace. As Mother Theresa beautifully said, "We all have a mission, a mission to love".
Fr. A. Justin Nelson, C.P. is a member of our Indian Vicariate and temporarily stationed at St. Mary’s Parish, Fairfield, Alabama.