Some people read their horoscopes, others go to Facebook and see what their five hundred friends are up to. I look at the obituaries every morning and inclined to read the death notices of younger people, their educational background, their religious affiliation, and burial plans. There was a sad obituary the other day of a young man who was in his thirties. He lost his battle with addiction.
I thought of the reading from the prophet Hosea today and what it must have been like for family members and friends who tried to reach out to the young man and were rejected. We heard it said by Hosea that the more that God called, the farther people went from him.
God literally taught His people how to walk. What an image of God … special to those among you who recall your own child’s first steps … shaky and ready to catch them if they were about to fall.
Hosea tried to remind people of God’s compassion and love for them, how He took them into His arms, stooped to feed them yet they did not know it was God doing this for them. They did not realize it was God who was seeking to heal them and make them whole.
Like addicts, we sometimes are prone to run away and distance ourselves from true love and, in the words of the prophet Hosea, sacrifice and burn incense to other gods. God is still stooping down to feed us, but we do not seem to know that He can be our healer.
The psalmist today implored God to look down and cure this vine, cure us. Jesus in the gospel today selected a group to go out and be healers, to bring comfort to people, to tell people that God is among us and wants to help us walk through life, upright and erect and not be dragged; to tell people that God’s arms are open, waiting to extend a compassionate embrace to all, ready to stoop down and yes, feed us with bread from heaven.
Jesus recruited people to convey this message and He empowered them with extraordinary gifts. They were influencers. It is a word we hear spoken today describing people who manage to get a message out to thousands of followers. How might we be God’s influencers today, to let people know that God is dying to let us know of His love and concern for each one of us.
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About Father Leo Polselli, C.S.C.
Father Leo Polselli, C.S.C. is Chaplain at the Father Peyton Center in Easton, MA. Before coming to Holy Cross Family Ministries he served as a teacher and a parish priest. He also served for six years as a General Assistant of the Congregation in Rome, Italy. Originally from Fall River, MA, Father Leo grew up with eight siblings. Gifted with several languages, he is able to serve the Brazilian, Cape Verdean, Portuguese, Spanish and Haitian communities. When he's not greeting everyone who comes to the Father Peyton Center, you can find him regularly reading newspapers!