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Friday, March 20, 2009

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Hosea 14:2-10
Psalm 81
Mark 12:28-34

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"I will heal their defection, I will love them freely; for My wrath is turned away from them." —Hosea 14:5

Hosea prophesied God would heal our defection. Eight hundred years later, God did this in an amazing way. He sent His only begotten Son Jesus to give His life for us by being nailed to the cross. By His wounds we have been healed (1 Pt 2:24). That's how He healed our defection, and that's what He meant by "loving us freely" (Hos 14:5).

"There is no greater love than this: to lay down one's life for one's friends" (Jn 15:13). Over the centuries God has revealed the greatest and first commandment: "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength" (Mk 12:30).

Once again Jesus fulfilled this in an amazing way. Who would have thought that "with all our heart" meant being pierced in the side with a soldier's lance? And "all our soul" meant the agony in the garden of Gethsemani with His sweat becoming as drops of blood? And "all our mind" meant the crown of thorns? And "all our strength" meant a gasping death after three hours hanging on a cross? Simple words were fulfilled by a savage death.

"Eye has not seen, ear has not heard, nor has it so much as dawned on man what God has prepared for those who love Him" (1 Cor 2:9).

Prayer:  Father, I never dreamed You loved me so much as to send Jesus to die. I give my life to You.

Promise:  "Again they shall dwell in his shade and raise grain; they shall blossom like the vine." —Hos 14:8

Praise:  Contemplating upon a picture of the Sacred Heart of Jesus fills Caroline anew with love.

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our tape on Jesus the Redeemer on audio AV 50-3 or video V-50.)

Rescript:  †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 11, 2008

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