Hosea 5:15-6.6
Luke 18:9-14


From time to time on Facebook or other social media outlets, we read something that is just so powerful; it has the ability to resonate through our whole body. In other words, it says it as it is, with no ifs or buts; the reality is painted in vivid colours for us to see!

This is a bit like the first reading from the Old Testament, the Prophet Hosea. This is a picture in neon lights of the relationship with God at that time, as voiced by Hosea! However, it’s not yesteryear’s news: It’s a timeless reflection; it is evergreen. This picture is presented in 3D and surround sound: One can see it, and one can feel it!

It’s a visual depicting many people……The Lord God’s thoughts, God’s people’s thoughts, remembering the good times and the challenging times. It presents us with a FACT CHECK of why things are not going so well; the end result in not unwelcome news! It is Good News: Love the Lord your God with all your heart, your mind and love your neighbours in proportion to our God, hopefully, abundant love for God, from within the sacrificial Altar in our Hearts!

This theme is magnificently characterised in the Gospel, about the two people going up to pray! The interior dispositions that are manifested in their prayer and demeanour could well be us.

The man who lived and breathed Psalm 50 was the one who genuinely loved from the heart.

For us today, Lent is that time of FACT CHECKING our lives and Spirituality. Surely, the first line from the responsorial Psalm says it so well: ‘Have mercy on me, God, in your kindness. In your Compassion blot out my offence.’

Kevin Walsh is a priest in the Diocese of Parramatta in Sydney. He has been formed in the Passionist tradition and Ministers to the Aged, the Sick, the Dying and the Bereaved.