It is 9th March 2018. The readings are from Hosea 14:2-10; and the Gospel from Mark 12:28-34. God laments through the prophet Hosea telling God’s people reminding them about His mercy and faithfulness and calling them to be back to Him. God promises God’s mercy and assuring them showers of blessings despite their fallenness, transgressions and sinfulness. “It is I who answer and look after you. I am like an evergreen cypress; your faithfulness comes from me.” (Hos.14:8). Israel rejected God and became disloyal to God eventually worshiping the idols. Even then, God was willing to show His compassion and mercy. Yes, indeed, Lent is the time in which God comes down to us in a very personal way to heal us and forgive us. What we need to do is to return to the Lord. Let us not drag on with the sinful lives. Only through God, we can flourish and cherish our lives. The responsorial Psalm praises, “I am the Lord your God, listen to my warning.” (Ps.80:9,11). The Gospel reiterates that God alone is the first and the foremost priority in our lives to enjoy the blessings of God. Since we are endowed with the love of God, we must love the other fellow human beings beyond all the social and cultural boundaries. The two commandments are interlinked and interconnected. Even though loving God is the priority, it can never be possible when we have a difficulty in dispensing our love toward the others. As long as the worship of idols are found in our lives, we will find it hard to love God and our neighbours. In a modern world, worshiping oneself, the so-called selfie mentality is the idolatry which makes us to depart from love of God and our neighbour. Love of God and neighbour is the antidote for the complete healing of any adverse effects of the idolatry. May the Lord help us to believe in God as the one who bless us at all times leaving all that remines as the obstacles to our relationship with God and our neighbour. May you have a good day. God bless you.