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Saturday, March 9, 2024

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St. Frances of Rome

Hosea 6:1-6
Psalm 51:3-4, 18-21
Luke 18:9-14

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answered prayers

“Two men went up to the temple to pray.” —Luke 18:10

The prophet Hosea led the people in prayer to return to the Lord (Hos 14:3). The Lord answered that prayer: “I will heal their defection, I will love them freely; for My wrath is turned away from them. I will be like the dew for Israel: he shall blossom like the lily” (Hos 14:5-6). On another occasion, the prophet also led the people in prayer to return to the Lord (Hosea 6:1).  The Lord answered that prayer by smiting His people through the prophets and slaying His people by the words of His mouth (Hos 6:5).

The Lord answered the same prayer in opposite ways because the prayer in Hosea 14 was prayed sincerely in repentance from idol-worship (Hos 14:4, 9), but the prayer in Hosea 6 was prayed by people “untrue” to the Lord (Hos 6:7). “When one turns away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer is an abomination” (Prv 28:9).

The Pharisee in today’s Gospel reading prayed, fasted, and gave alms (Lk 18:11-12). The tax collector, who had sold his soul to the Romans to make money, also prayed (Lk 18:13-14). The tax collector “went home from the temple justified but the other did not” (Lk 18:14). This was because the Pharisee prayed in a proud, self-centered way but the tax collector repented and humbled himself (Lk 18:13-14).

The Lord will answer our prayers. Will we receive the sternness He shows to the arrogant or the kindness He gives to the humble? (1 Pt 5:5)

Prayer:  Lord, teach me to pray (Lk 11:1).

Promise:  “Everyone who exalts himself shall be humbled while he who humbles himself shall be exalted.” —Lk 18:14

Praise:  St. Frances of Rome gave glory to God through her love of her husband, children, and the poor and sick people of Rome.

Reference:  (For a related teaching on Lord, Teach Us to Pray, listen to, download or order our CD 57-3 or DVD 57 on our website.)

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