FRIDAY, THIRD WEEK OF LENT
Hos 14: 2-10; Ps 81: 6-11, 14, 17; Mk 12: 28-34
HESED OF YAHWEH
The prophet Hosea in the day’s reading tells us what is restored when we return to the LORD.
- Growth is restored (He shall blossom like the lily).
- Strength is restored (take root like the trees of Lebanon).
- Beauty is restored (His beauty shall be like an olive).
- Delight is restored (His fragrance is like Lebanon).
- Abundance is restored (flourish like the corn… blossom like the vine… fame shall be like the wine of Lebanon).
When God restores Israel, his people will be a blessing to others and not blessed only unto themselves. Hosea is preaching about the Hesed (total love of God) of Yahweh using very attractive terms such as “love freely,” “my anger has turned from them,” “I will be like the dew to Israel.”
In the Gospel of Mark, Jesus links the Hesed of Yahweh, with the love of the people around us. The Scribe was impressed. He endorsed what Jesus said and even added that such love transcends any religious activity. Jesus was also impressed and said the Scribe was very close to the Kingdom of God because the Scribe put the love of God and neighbour at the very centre of his living. However, the Scribe would not be fully part of the Kingdom until he became a follower of the way of Jesus.
We do not know whether that happened or not. What we know is that we are called to follow Jesus with a total commitment of heart, mind, and strength of loving God unconditionally and loving every person we come across in our lives. Let us pause today for some time to feel and experience the Hesed of God. That will transform our relationship and love towards others. Would God compliment us as he did the scribe, at least for making some effort and trying our level best to love our neighbour as ourselves?
Response: I am the Lord your God: listen to my voice.
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