“THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN IS AT HAND” (Matt 10:7)
📖Hos 10:1-3, 7-8, 12; Ps 105:2-3, 4-5, 6-7 (R.v.4b); Matt 10:1-7
At the time of the prophet Hosea, just as it was the case with Amos, Israel experienced a time of prosperity. Instead of that drawing them closer to God, they began to indulge in different kinds of atrocities. Both prophets condemned this. Amos paid more attention to how this affects communal and spiritual life of the people but Hosea paid more attention on how this attitude destroys the covenant which God made with Israel.
From that perspective, we can understand the prophecy in Hosea 10:1-12. The more Israel was progressing, the more they turned their hearts away from God and built altars to idols, thereby breaking the covenant which God proclaimed through the prophets, “You shall be my people and I will be your God” (Her 30:22; Ezek 36:28).
So the prophet Hosea was interested in getting the people come back to God because he knows that it is only from God that their blessings and salvation come from (see Hosea 10:12).
The same concern that Hosea had for the people is equally what Jesus expressed in Matt 10:1-7 that made him to send out his twelve apostles to go to the lost sheep of Israel and preach to them that the kingdom of God is at hand.
Can we not see ourselves as the new lost sheep of Israel? Many times, pursuit of material things lead us to abandon God. The prophet Hosea tells us today, “It is time to seek the Lord” (Hosea 10:12) just as Jesus commands his apostles to preach, “The kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matt 10:7).
For the sake of that kingdom of heaven, St. Benedict abandoned the material things of the world and embraced monastic life. Many people joined him in that way of life. But we don’t need to join the monastery today to achieve the same goal. Join by seeing God in everything you do and being faithful to him in them.
May God help us to remain steadfast to him especially when our progress and prosperity begins to get into our head. Amen.
Have a prosperous day ahead spent in steadfastness to God. Peace be with you.