Rescued from the Pit of Despair

Ignatius Catholic Study Bible New Testament

Memorial of St. John of God, religious

Today’s readings:
Hosea 14:2-10
Mark 12:28-34

[Read the Daily Reflection at Take Five for Faith. Unfortunately, there was an error in the bulletin this week and the reflection from yesterday was reprinted for today.]

For those of you who are like me and less inclined, perhaps, to poetry, the reading from Hosea can tend to be something which we skim over without extracting a lot of meaning. I know, for me, I need to make a conscious effort to slow down and think about the images being presented and what they mean.

In the first stanza (Is that what it’s called? I’m really bad at poetry. Really bad. I mean verses 2-3.), they are talking about a people who have hit the proverbial rock-bottom. They aren’t able to stand on their own; they have collapsed. Their “friends” won’t be there to help them. They don’t have any defenses. They are utterly incapable of saving themselves. Even the most pitiable people in their society — orphans — pity *them*.

Think about that for a minute. Have you ever been in a situation that was dark and seemingly hopeless? Where everything seems to have crumbled away? Where you were tempted to despair? Savor that emotion for just a moment.

Now, let’s read what comes next in verses 4-7. God is telling them that He is going to break into their lives — into their despair and hopelessness — and He is going to not only restore them, but transform them (and the situation) into something precious and beautiful.

To be swept from the absolute worst of situations to the best of situations… What an amazing feeling! And a reality that happens to us far more frequently than we realize.

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