Hosea 14:2-10; Psalm 81; Mark 12:28-34
Today’s Scripture readings can give us much hope during these trying times. They call us to put our trust in a compassionate God, and to grow in the love of God and neighbor.
Hosea tells that “in (God) the orphan finds compassion”. Orphans, along with widows aliens, were the most vulnerable and defenseless people in Old Testament times. Many, if not most of us, are feeling very vulnerable these days. We are fearful that we, our loved ones,and people throughout the globe may contract a potentially deadly disease for which there is as of yet no cure. Many are losing their jobs and income, and much of their life’s savings. We are vulnerable in the face of the coronavirus, and defenseless before a crashing economy. We are cut off from our faith community and the Holy Eucharist, as well as family and the greater community. This is all very real. Yet, at times like these we need to turn to our compassionate God and put our trust in God. Let’s not lose heart, but rather through prayer and meditation open our hearts to God’s presence. God was in the midst of God’s people on their difficult journey in the desert. God is now walking with us. God is in our midst, not quarantined in some distant heaven!
In the Gospel we are given the two greatest commandments: “The Lord our God is Lord alone. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul. with all your mind, and with all your strength. The second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” God has sent us Jesus, and given us the heart of Jesus, so that we can grow in our love of God and our neighbor. A love that we all need to grow in and share in these days ahead.
During this season of Lent (when we have all given up more than we planned to!) let us pray that God will create that new heart in each of us, and in all people affected by the pandemic.