READING I: Hosea 14:2-10
RESPONSORIAL: Psalms 81:6c-8a, 8bc-9, 10-11ab, 14 and 17
GOSPEL: Mark 12:28-34
Today's first reading is from one of the "minor prophets" and is a call to the nation of Israel to repent. The language is beautiful and so tender and is filled with all sorts of imagery and beauty. God says "I will love them with all my heart.....I will fall like dew upon Israel."
And he promises the repentant sinner, "he shall bloom like the lily...his shoots shall spread far...he shall live in the shade."
You almost need to have lived in the desert to understand the wonder of the promise "he shall live in the shade." The tenderness of God's call to us to return should in itself make us aware of the great love he has for us.
God is constantly promising us great things and still we refuse to go to him. Strange how we always fall for the lure of this world!