Hosea 14:2-10 Reflection:
The whole of Lent is characterized by readings of repentance and God’s love for us, especially in the first readings. Today is no exception. Hosea is told to tell the people: ‘Israel, come back to the Lord your God; your iniquity was the cause of your downfall.’
All through our life we are falling away from God and coming back to him. When we seek forgiveness we are returning to God and since most of us do not commit mortal sins on a regular basis, we can ask forgiveness in private for venial sins and they are forgiven.
But Hosea also equates the lack of iniquity with happiness; where there is no sin there is happiness. This is contrary to the world’s teaching that promotes greed and lust etc as the way to happiness. For the Christian it is the repose of a good conscience and resting in the peace of Christ that brings happiness.
“I will fall like a dew on Israel...and thrust our roots like a poplar.”
God is speaking here of a constant source of water for the plants enabling the poplar tree to sink deep roots. He is speaking of security in a desert where life is always fragile and death is never far off.
Apply this writing to today and we are speaking of the security of being loved by God and of having our roots firmly in the Lord.
There is still a desert about: you don’t have to look far to see it!