Today is Wednesday the 6th of July, in the 14th week of Ordinary Time.
The monks of Pluscarden Abbey sing Laetetur cor quaerentium: Let the heart of those who seek the Lord rejoice; seek the Lord and be strengthened, seek his face always. Entering into prayer today, I too am seeking the Lord, seeking his face, looking for the signs of his presence in my life, gently guiding me in truth and peace and love.
Laetetur cor quaerentium Dominum:
quaerite Dominum, et confirmamini:
quaerite faciem eius semper.
Confitemini Domino, et invocate nomen ejus:
annuntiate intergentes opera eius.
Let the hearts that seek the Lord rejoice and be strengthened, always seek his face.
Confess unto the Lord and call upon his name. Proclaim his works to the Gentiles.
Today’s reading is from the Prophet Hosea.
Israel is a luxuriant vine
that yields its fruit.
The more his fruit increased
the more altars he built;
as his country improved,
he improved his pillars.
Their heart is false;
now they must bear their guilt.
The LORD will break down their altars,
and destroy their pillars.
For now they will say:
‘We have no king,
for we do not fear the LORD,
and a king—what could he do for us?’
Samaria’s king shall perish
like a splinter on the face of the waters.
The high places of Aven, the sin of Israel,
shall be destroyed.
Thorn and thistle shall grow up
on their altars.
They shall say to the mountains, Cover us,
and to the hills, Fall on us.
Sow for yourselves righteousness;
reap steadfast love;
break up your fallow ground;
for it is time to seek the LORD,
that he may come and rain righteousness upon you.
A challenging reading today. Hosea writes to the people of a society that has grown rich in material possessions. But as it has grown rich, it has lost touch with God. Do you notice any echoes of that in the society in which you live?
Much of this reading then speaks of a God who intends to punish those who have neglected him in this way. What does it feel like to hear those words?
Punishment is not the last word here, though. The passage ends with an invitation to once again “seek the Lord”. What might that mean in your own life, today?
Listen again to the reading, and imagine a prophet addressing these words to the society in which you live.
Speak to God about what you have seen in this prayer, about his invitation to you to seek the Lord again.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.