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Tuesday, July 8, 2014

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Hosea 8:4-7, 11-13
Psalm 115:3-10
Matthew 9:32-38

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"Cast away your calf, O Samaria!" —Hosea 8:5

After Solomon's death, Jeroboam seized control of the ten northern tribes of Israel. He knew his subjects would go south to worship in Jerusalem, thus eroding his power base and personal safety (1 Kgs 12:26-27). So Jeroboam sold out in order to keep himself rolling in power and money. He set aside truth and set up a new religion and culture. He built two golden calves (1 Kgs 12:28; see Ex 32:8), which were nothing less than idols, and told the people that the shrines of these calves were the "in" places to worship God. He relieved them of the "obligation" to travel to Jerusalem, making worship convenient and cheaper. The people were focused on convenience and money, not true worship of God. So they swallowed Jeroboam's scheme hook, line, and sinker.

Hosea addresses the idolatrous northern tribes of Israel: "Cast away your calf, O Samaria!" (Hos 8:5) He also addresses us. Hosea screams, "Cast away your TV and smartphones!" Some modern-day Jeroboams proclaim convenience and wealth. They have gradually shaped a culture which worships at the movies and the home entertainment center. They've relegated Sunday to a day of convenience rather than a day dedicated to worshiping God. These culture-destroyers produce TV programs, newspaper and magazine articles, and movies calculated to increase their own wealth rather than promote the glory of God and the good of humanity (Ez 34:2). Why do we follow them?

Jesus cast aside His own glory and humbled Himself out of love for us (Phil 2:7-8). "Cast away your calf" and labor for Jesus' harvest. In Jesus name, create a holy culture of life.

Prayer:  Jesus, I cast my cares on you (1 Pt 5:7) and I cast out of my life anything that distracts me from You.

Promise:  "When they sow the wind, they shall reap the whirlwind." —Hos 8:7

Praise:  Charles not only worships on Sunday but brings the Eucharist to those who can't get to Mass.

Reference:  (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, January 2, 2014

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