The Book of Hosea has much beautiful language and imagery about God’s love for his people Israel. Like the other prophets, it also has harsh warnings in it. Today’s first reading contains the latter. The people had turned away, and God’s punishment was forthcoming.
In today’s Gospel reading from Matthew 9, St. Matthew tells us how busy Jesus was, going “around to all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the Gospel of the Kingdom, and curing every disease and illness.” Why does He do all this? The Scripture tells us. “His heart was moved with pity for them because they were troubled and abandoned, like sheep without a shepherd.”
His heart was moved with pity. It still is. Unfortunately, some people view Jesus as something else – perhaps a big, bad judge waiting to sentence them to a fiery end. Why? Because some of His disciples today are like that. Although we may not want to claim this responsibility, when people see us (assuming we’re His disciples), they see Jesus. People are watching you. For those who are struggling, is your heart moved with pity?
Father, may our hearts be moved with pity for your children who are troubled and abandoned. May we be more like Jesus today. Amen.