The First Reading is a call to repentance. Hosea speaks of the sins of Israel. The more his fruit increased the more altars he built; as his country improved, he improved his pillars. As people become more wealthy, they forget the Lord who gives them the power to earn wealth. Because of this arrogance, people start to think they do not need God and reject him. Notice what Israel said: we have no king, for we do not fear the Lord. Is this not applicable today?
When people have the arrogance to say they do not fear God, it is the time to be afraid. When I reject God, he respects that decision and leaves me to myself to confront the evil forces on my own. When this happens, I will soon find out, that the wealth I have, the strength and skills I have, mean nothing when my life is turned upside down. This is why the end of the First Reading tells us: sow for yourselves righteousness; reap steadfast love; break up your fallow ground; for it is time to seek the Lord that he may come and rain righteousness upon you.
We see God’s love for his people, that despite them rejecting him, he continues to call them to seek him. God wants us to live with him so we can have eternal life. Our life is not in our wealth, or our health. But our life is found in Jesus Christ. When we turn to him, God deems us righteous and allows us to stand before him as his children. This is only the first step because the First Reading tells us to sow righteousness. We are to live according to what God deems right and not what we think is right. I can pray all I want, but if I do not live a righteous life according to God’s will, then I still reject him. Why will God hear me if I continue to reject him in my choices and actions? If I do not repent, God is not bound to hear me. But when I repent and accept Jesus as my Lord and Savior, then God will hear.
The Psalm today tells us: Seek always the face of the Lord… Seek the Lord and his strength, seek his presence continually. Remember the wonderful works he has done, his miracles and the judgments he uttered. The first step toward repentance is to seek the Lord and his strength. Jesus knows this which is why in the Gospel today, he gave the Twelve disciples authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, to cure every disease and sickness. This authority proves the power of God which hopefully, will lead people to seek God and his presence continually.
But we cannot see the power of God if we are more concerned about looking at ourselves rather than on God. The Psalm tells us to seek the Lord and his strength. And why should I turn to God and not to myself? The reason is God wants to enter your life so he can cast out any spirit in you that is not the Holy Spirit. This can be the spirit of anger, of rage, of lust, of despair or any spirit that does not give you peace. He wants to heal every disease and sickness from you. And if he deems fit, he will heal you of your disease, even cancer, if it is his will. God very much wants to reach out and heal your spiritual and emotional wounds. Those that have hurt you for a long time, those that have burdened you.
Jesus commands these Twelve to proclaim the good news, “The kingdom of heaven has come near”. God is here today, waiting for you to invite him into your life. Do you want to get rid of your anger, rage, addiction to drugs, alcohol, sex, pornography, lust, disordered desires? Do you want God to heal the wounds you have because of what happened to you in the past? God has power to heal you. Seek God and his strength. Jesus said Everyone who seeks finds. When we seek God, we will find him.
Lord, I seek your face and your strength and I seek your presence continually. I do not know how or where to start. But here is my heart. I turn to you and I know you will forgive me for my sins, no matter how evil they are. So now Lord, I reject all my sins and turn to you. You are the only One who can lead me to eternal life. You are the only One who can show me the plan of our Father in heaven. You are the only One who can save me from whatever spirit hounds me. Come Lord Jesus, with your power. I trust in you.