From time to time this summer I have been commenting on the first reading, recently from the prophets Amos and Hosea. Their words have been direct and challenging to any who would listen: this is how you are seen in the eyes of God. It was a rough encounter. While it promised doom to those whose heart remained hardened, there was always the call to turn back to God, back to the covenant.
In today’s first reading, the prophet Hosea speaks to those whose heart turns back to God. The reading is insightful to the human condition noting that the evil we do or allow is like a burden to which is added more and more weight. We will eventually collapse under its gravity. The reading asks us to be mindful of all the small gods we keep in our lives that we hope will cure, heal or save, but in the end are powerless. They ask, demand and add to the burden.
But if we will lay that burden down and turn to God, there is one promise given. One promise from which flows all good things – God says to those who turn to God: “I will love them freely.” (Hosea 14:5)
Take a moment today and consider the burdens in your life that you need to set aside so that you can turn to God and experience the freeing uprightness of being loved freely.