Journey to Daily Prayer – Day 25
Saturday in Third Week of Lent
“Come let us return to the Lord.”
After today, Hosea may become a common enough character for us. However, we can’t understand this prophet’s life apart from Gomer. Gomer was Hosea’s perpetually promiscuous wife. Yet, Hosea never abandoned her. It was a sad yet biographic image of Israel’s unfaithfulness towards God. Yet, God doesn’t abandon his wayward wife and receives her when she returns to him. Today’s Luke reading unpacks this waywardness more. Two men went to the temple to pray—the Pharisee who was not wayward, but trusted his own righteousness—“I am not like other men!” (Lk 18:11); and the wayward tax collector who threw himself at God’s righteousness—“be merciful to me a sinner!” (Lk 18:13). One told God how good he was. The other implored God on how good God was. Do you see the difference? Which brings us to today’s point: repentance is not a one-time thing. Repentance is ongoing. For example, we don’t know how many times the tax collector repented. Maybe he repented as often as Gomer returned to Hosea. But we do know that the Pharisee was not the repenting type, especially if he had the audacity to boast about his merit badges to God. Yet, Jesus says that it was the tax collector who went home justified, not the Pharisee (Lk 18:14). So, tomorrow, for the Lord’s Day, “Come, let us return to the Lord; for after two days he will revive us; on the third day he will raise us up, that we may live before him,” (Hos 6:1-2).
O God, who knowest us to be set in the midst of so many and great dangers, that by reason of the frailty of our nature we cannot always stand upright: Grant to us such strength and protection as may support us in all dangers, and carry us through all temptations; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.