Day 175: Knowledge of god

2 Kings 6:1-7 This unusual miracle has been interpreted allegorically by different Church Fathers in various ways. Among these, both St. Ambrose and Tertullian see imagery of the Sacrament of Baptism: the sunken axe represents the person steeped in sin, and the waters of Baptism raise up the person to new life; for Tertullian, the stick additionally represents the Cross by which we are saved (De Sacramentis, 2, 4, 11; Adversus Judaeos, 13) 

Ch 6:8-23 Elisha’s prophetic gifts and powerful prayers allowed him to bring what otherwise could have been a bloody battle to a peaceful resolution, even to the point of feeding the prisoners of war before sending them home.

Ch 6:24-33 A famine in Samaria had caused the people to resort to eating unclean animals and even to cannibalism. The king blamed Elisha for the troubles and sought his death.

Ch 7:1-20 The miraculous and sudden departure of the Syrians from their camp left sufficient food behind to break the famine that had been plaguing Samaria. Elisha’s prophecy about the availability of grains at reasonable prices was fulfilled as well as the prophecy that implied the death of the king’s captain. (CCC 305-307)

Hosea 4:1-19 In the first of several prophecies, Hosea reported that Israel had offended both God and neighbor. These sins were in great part the fault of the priests, who had neglected to teach the people about the Law and Commandments. The priests, in fact, were slow to correct the people of their sins because they profited from the sin offerings they made on behalf of the people. (CCC 2056)

Ch 4:1-2 Lying...stealing: The exploitation of people through unjust economic practices such as usury and fraud, especially when they victimize the poor, were frequently condemned by the Old Testament prophets. (CCC 2453)

Ch 4:9-19 In keeping with the marriage analogy present throughout the Book of Hosea, idolatry is referred to as harlotry or adultery. (CCC 2380)

Ch 5:1-15 Amid references to the tensions between Judah and the Northern Kingdom, the Lord condemned the mixing of paganism with the divinely revealed religion of Israel. This condemnation included the tendency toward a subjective attitude toward religious worship and rituals that denied the existence of one true religion. Such denial of the existence of objective truth tends to lead to the erroneous belief that all religions are equally valid.

Ch 6:1-11 Hosea urged both the priests and people to repentance and conversion through which the Lord would manifest his steadfast love and mercy on them.

On the third day he will raise us up: These words may be a foreshadowing of the Resurrection of Christ. The “third day” after death was significant because it was believed that the physical decay of the human corpse began on the fourth day. Therefore, his Resurrection on the third day was an assurance that physical corruption had not yet begun.

I desire...not sacrifice: Christ paraphrase this verse when he urged his listeners to put the needs of the human person above any other sacrifice. Humility and charity were the dispositions that truly glorified God rather than ceremonial burnt offerings that had no bearing on one’s personal life. (CCC 589, 627, 2100, 2787)

Ch 7:1-16 The Lord condemned certain treacheries that happened with regularity during the years of the divided kingdom: murderous rebellions against rulers and alliances with pagan neighbors, which led to war between the two kingdoms. This prophecy was aimed at Ephraim (Samaria), but the condemnation included everyone guilty of these sins. 

Psalm 103 This psalm praises God wholeheartedly for the wonderful blessings lavished on them. All of God’s saving works spring forth from his infinite goodness and steadfast love and faithfulness to his people. God’s love is expressed as kind, fatherly, and full of compassion. Since this psalm gives so much elaboration to God’s infinite mercy, it is prayed at Mass on the Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, Year A.

Bless the Lord, O you his angels: This verse refers to the created spirits who act as messengers and servants of God. St. Augustine was careful to distinguish the term “spirit” from the term “angel,” pointing out that “spirit” describes their nature while “angel” denotes their function (cf. En. in Ps., 103, 1, 15). (CCC 304, 328-329, 2645)

(*The Didache Bible RSV-CE Ignatius Edition, 2006)

Prayer by Fr. Mike: “Father in Heaven we give you praise and we give you thanks because it is true. Your mercy is towards those who fear you. As far as the east is from the west, so far do you remove our transgressions from us, Lord God. Your mercy is limitless. It is unstoppable. It is infinite. Your mercy is given to us the most when we need it the most and deserve it the least. And that is what your love is like. And so thank you so much. You know our frame. You remember that we are dust. You know how feeble we can be. You know how weak we can be. You know what causes us to sin, and yet you still give us your Grace so that your life may abound in us. So help us. Help us to say yes to you this day and every day. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.”