Monday, July 7, 2008

sugar or cane?

Last week, our First Reading at Mass was from the book of the Prophet Amos. He starts off gently enough: 'For three crimes of Israel and four!' He is bashing the people of Israel with a stick to get them to open their eyes that what they have been doing is offensive to God and if they don't change their ways..... POW! right in the kisser!

Contrast that with today's First Reading from the Prophet Hosea:

Thus says the LORD:I will allure her;I will lead her into the desertand speak to her heart.She shall respond there as in the days of her youth,when she came up from the land of Egypt.On that day, says the LORD,She shall call me “My husband,”and never again “My baal.”I will espouse you to me forever:I will espouse you in right and in justice,in love and in mercy;I will espouse you in fidelity,and you shall know the LORD.

There is a major difference in tone here from last week. Now that the eyes of the people are (hopefully) opened, God is leading them back into the relationship with Him that they once had as they 'came up from the land of Egypt.'

While it is tempting to hit people over their heads with the sins that are being committed (sometimes this is quite necessary, too!); true lasting conversion comes from the conviction of heart that has been touched by God, that has come to 'know the LORD.'

Therefore, in our efforts at evangelization, once we get those eyes opened and ready to see, bring them before Jesus in the Eucharist, and He will touch them and they will never turn back.

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