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Thursday, July 12, 2018

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Hosea 11:1-4, 8-9
Psalm 80:2-3, 15-16
Matthew 10:7-15

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"the father of mercies"

"My heart is overwhelmed; My pity is stirred." —Hosea 11:8

God is so personally involved with each human being that His heart is overwhelmed with love for each person. He is a loving Father (see Hos 11:4). Although the message of the prophet Hosea has, to this point, generally been to convict us to repent of sin, today's passage reveals that God loves each of us as a father, tenderly.

Some of you may not have experienced merciful love from your earthly father and thus perceive God as stern, angry, and distant. Others feel so unloved by their earthly fathers that they project this uncaring coldness upon God. However, God's fatherly love is gentle and tender, like a father who lifts his infant child to his cheeks for a kiss (Hos 11:4).

Today, throughout the day, keep this image of God, the tender and loving Father, front and center in your mind. Can you picture God picking you up and raising you to His cheeks for a kiss? (Hos 11:4) Can you imagine God's heart being overwhelmed with love for you? (Hos 11:8) He has revealed to us that this is exactly how He loves us. Therefore, today allow Him to love you.

Prayer:  Father, I am Yours; do with me as You will. I will even let You love me as You will.

Promise:  "I drew them with human cords, with bands of love; I fostered them like one who raises an infant to his cheeks." —Hos 11:4

Praise:  Fr. Ralph still tends to the Lord's flock ten years after his "retirement."

Reference:  (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 27, 2018

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