First reading Hosea 2:16,17-18,21-22

I will betroth you to myself and you will come to know the name of the Lord

It is the Lord who speaks:
 
I am going to lure her
and lead her out into the wilderness
and speak to her heart.
I am going to give her back her vineyards,
and make the Valley of Achor a gateway of hope.
There she will respond to me as she did when she was young,
as she did when she came out of the land of Egypt.
 
When that day comes – it is the Lord who speaks –
she will call me, ‘My husband’,
no longer will she call me, ‘My Baal.’
I will betroth you to myself for ever,
betroth you with integrity and justice,
with tenderness and love;
I will betroth you to myself with faithfulness,
and you will come to know the Lord.
 
 

Responsorial Psalm 144(145):2-9

The Lord is kind and full of compassion.
 
I will bless you day after day
  and praise your name for ever.
The Lord is great, highly to be praised,
  his greatness cannot be measured.
 
Age to age shall proclaim your works,
  shall declare your mighty deeds,
shall speak of your splendour and glory,
  tell the tale of your wonderful works.
 
They will speak of your terrible deeds,
  recount your greatness and might.
They will recall your abundant goodness;
  age to age shall ring out your justice.
 
The Lord is kind and full of compassion,
  slow to anger, abounding in love.
How good is the Lord to all,
  compassionate to all his creatures.

 

Gospel Matthew 9:18-26

‘Your faith has restored you to health’

While Jesus was speaking, up came one of the officials, who bowed low in front of him and said, ‘My daughter has just died, but come and lay your hand on her and her life will be saved.’ Jesus rose and, with his disciples, followed him. Then from behind him came a woman, who had suffered from a haemorrhage for twelve years, and she touched the fringe of his cloak, for she said to herself, ‘If I can only touch his cloak I shall be well again.’ Jesus turned round and saw her; and he said to her, ‘Courage, my daughter, your faith has restored you to health.’ And from that moment the woman was well again.
  When Jesus reached the official’s house and saw the flute-players, with the crowd making a commotion he said, ‘Get out of here; the little girl is not dead, she is asleep.’ And they laughed at him. But when the people had been turned out he went inside and took the little girl by the hand; and she stood up. And the news spread all round the countryside.
 
 
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God’s love for us

In the first reading today, God, through the prophet Hosea, declares His
faithful love to Israel, to each of us. He loves us with “integrity and justice,
with tenderness and love”. God’s love for all humanity is personal and
tender. We are invited to allow ourselves to be loved by Him. In today’s
gospel, Jesus shows us the face of God’s faithful love in healing the
official’s daughter and the woman who suffered from a haemorrhage.
 
Both of these people, the grief-stricken father and the helpless woman,
were drawn to Jesus because they had faith that He would not turn them
away. When the woman touched His cloak, He turned to her and offered
her words of hope, “Courage, my daughter, your faith has saved you”.
Likewise, Jesus did not shun the official for his expectation that He could
do something to bring his dead daughter to life. In the end, Jesus took
her hand and restored her to life. In Jesus, we see the depth of God’s
love that is never indifferent to us but is always there for us. Today, let
us entrust ourselves to God and experience His personal love for us.
 
 
Question for reflection:
Do I believe that God loves me?
 
 
Acknowledgment: Reflections are based on “Prayer for Living: The Word of God for Daily Prayer Year C” by Sr Sandra Seow FMVD.