"I have humbled him, but I will prosper him." —Hosea 14:9
God calls us "oaks of justice, planted by the Lord to show His glory" (Is 61:3). However, if we sin and refuse to repent, "the Lord, the Lord of hosts, lops off the boughs with terrible violence; the tall of stature are felled, and the lofty ones brought low; the forest thickets are felled" (Is 10:33-34). Nevertheless, we can eventually accept the grace to repent, then we will "strike root like the Lebanon cedar, and put forth" our shoots (Hos 14:6). We will produce many leaves (Hos 14:8) and then blossom like the lily (Hos 14:6) and the vine (Hos 14:8). Our fragrance will be "like the Lebanon cedar" (Hos 14:7) and our splendor "like the olive tree" (Hos 14:7). Finally, we will bear much fruit "like a verdant cypress tree" (Hos 14:9). From being stumped by sin we can become fruitful by repentance.
If we sow the tears of repentance, we "shall reap rejoicing" (Ps 126:5). Jesus promised that, if we die to ourselves, we will produce much fruit (see Jn 12:24). If we die to sin, we will not reap the wages of sin, that is death (Rm 6:23). We will bear the fruit of the Holy Spirit.
Prayer: Father, in this year of the Great Jubilee, I decide to repent and to cause heaven to rejoice (Lk 15:7, 10).
Promise: "When they hand you over, do not worry about what you will say or how you will say it. When the hour comes, you will be given what you are to say. You yourselves will not be the speakers; the Spirit of your Father will be speaking in you." —Mt 10:19-20
Praise: Bl. Kateri experienced the truth of Jesus' words, "My mission is to spread, not peace, but division" (Mt 10:34), when she had to break family and tribal ties to become His follower.
Nihil Obstat: Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, December 16, 1999
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, December 18, 1999