When I read the words, “Return, O Israel, to Your God.” in the reading from Hosea, I heard echoes of Ash Wednesday. In Joel 2:12, God says to us “Return to me with your whole heart.” I also hear the song “Hosea.”
Because we are nearly halfway through Lent it seems like a good time to RETURN and REFOCUS.
We sometimes begin Lent with great fervor. But many things may have happened in our lives. Some of us have gotten sick, maybe with the flu. Some of us have experienced the death of someone very close. Some have had very good news like a new baby in the family.
At this point, we may need to refocus. Perhaps Lent means something very different to us now. Whether we may want to emphasize sacrifice for others, taking positive actions, or even looking for the daily resurrections in our lives anticipating Easter Sunday, we still have three good weeks of Lent left.
Now is the acceptable time to refocus our Lenten efforts to make it our own special time to “Love our God with our whole heart, our whole soul, our whole mind and our whole strength and our neighbor as ourselves” as today’s gospel reminds us.
And if you also hear songs in your head, you can sing “Hosea” with me.
Come back to me with all your heart.
Don’t let fear keep us apart.
Trees do bend, tho’ straight and tall;
so must we to others call.
Long have I waited for your coming
home to me and living deeply our new life.
The wilderness will lead you
to your heart where I will speak.
Integrity and justice,
with tenderness, you shall know.
Hosea (Come to Me), copyright 1972, Gregory Norbet