Scripture: Lectionary 243.  Hosea 6:1-6. Psalm 51:3- Luke

Saturday's Readings

"He wil bind our wounds."  Jesus is the "Wounded Healer" who stops in his
tracks to bind up the wounds of his followers and that includes all of us.
He attends to us first before looing at his wounded hands, feet, and
pierced side.  His heart is broken and has poured forth his blood with
water. We are healed by his love and the total giving of his life on the
Cross for us.  "There is no greater love than to lay down one's life for
one's friends." His heart may be broken but it continues to beat for us
because of his divine tenderness, mercy, and forgiveness of what we have
done to him through what we have done to others, ourselves, and God.

It is sin that wounds and even kills us eventually but Jesus is the
greatest of physicians who says through Hosea, "after two days; on the
third day I will raise you up to live in my presence." Jesus lives out all
of the chapters of Hosea which is one of the greatest of love stories in
the Bible.  Hosea, a prophet of the Northern Kingdom who prophesied in the
latter half of the 8th century B.C.  "At the core of Hosea's impassioned
pleading stood the symbolism of a broken marriage." (Jewish Encyclopedia,
p.192). His wife epitomized Israel's infidelity.

Jesus relives the chapters of Hosea's experience in our own infidelities
and our habitual sins. He continues to love us and to search and find out
and even leads us into the desert to speak to our hearts. We are wounded
and deaf and blind to God's voice and that of Jesus; we are stumbling on
the road that he wishes us to travel in order to follow him.

His parable in the Gospel of Luke about the Pharisee and the tax collector
shows both at prayer.  But the prayer of the sinner, the humble publican is
the one that touches the heart of God and he goes away "justified" that is
forgiven.  He was not busy looking around to see how much better off he was
than others; he was focused on his status as a lowly humble sinner before
God. He was aware of God but not of the Pharisee. The opposite was taking
place in the distracted and selfish prayer of self praising of the
religious minded one. Like both we are in need of the healing touch of
Jesus and the forgiveness he offers us during this season of penance,
prayer, and giving.  God wants us to write down our prophetic experiences
of disappointment and failure while listening to the Holy Spirit who
inspires us to listen to God and Jesus and to write in our hearts what we
hear and what is humbly true in our lives. Amen.