REPENT AND BELIEVE            Hos.14-2-10

God raises men and women through the ages to be prophets. They are to minister to the people the saving message of God. He speaks through human agents, in every circumstance and in all situations. God never tires in calling out to those who are willing to respond to him. Hosea, like many others before and after him had the difficult task of proclaiming to the people their return to God. Jesus, in the New Testament who fulfils all prophesies also calls people to repentance and a return to God – “Repent and believe in the gospel”.

Hosea calls the people to repentance. How they are to come to God is by their words. By their word of repentance they will be accepted by their God By their acknowledging God as Lord and Savior they will gain the love and mercy of God. The LORD hears the cry of the poor. His gaze of mercy is turned towards to those who are sincere in their repentance. His mercy heals and brings freedom to those who are enslaved to sin.

The metaphors that God speaks through the prophet are like freshness and renewal to the hearers of the proclaimed word. On their return to God they shall blossom like the lily, they shall put forth shoots like the cedars of Lebanon; their splendor will be like the olive tree, and their fragrance like the cedar. God is that tree that offers shade and fruitfulness – our protection and solace is found in Him

The grace of forgiveness is offered to anyone who seeks God with their whole heart. God is turned to the humble and contrite of heart. In that wonderful sacrament of mercy and love, we confess our sins to the priest, who in the person of Christ, absolves us and helps us walk again the journey of life. The Sacrament of Confession (Forgiveness and Penance) is a sacrament of conversion. In our repentance we turn back to God the Author and source of our lives, we give back to him what is due to him -our very lives. The spirit is poured into our hearts and we are once again refreshed and renewed to love and serve the LORD.

What are some of the metaphors that we can identify with in regards to our relationship with God? For example, God is like the mountains that surround us – he surrounds us with love and compassion. God is like the cool refreshing breeze – His spirit breathes upon us grace and consolation. God is like the trees that bear fruit – God nourishes us with peace and strength.

God, have mercy on me a sinner. Forgive me and heal me. I repent of my sin and return to you loving God. Let your good Spirit lead me and guide me in to the ways of everlasting life. Amen