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This Tremendous Lover

First Reading: Hosea 2:16, 17C-18, 21-22

Thus says the LORD:
I will allure her;
I will lead her into the desert
and speak to her heart.
She shall respond there as in the days of her youth,
when she came up from the land of Egypt.

On that day, says the LORD,
She shall call me “My husband,”
and never again “My baal.”

I will espouse you to me forever:
I will espouse you in right and in justice,
in love and in mercy;
I will espouse you in fidelity,
and you shall know the LORD.

Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 145:2-3, 4-5, 6-7, 8-9

R. (8a) The Lord is gracious and merciful.
Every day will I bless you,
and I will praise your name forever and ever.
Great is the LORD and highly to be praised;
his greatness is unsearchable.
R. The Lord is gracious and merciful.
Generation after generation praises your works
and proclaims your might.
They speak of the splendor of your glorious majesty
and tell of your wondrous works.
R. The Lord is gracious and merciful.
They discourse of the power of your terrible deeds
and declare your greatness.
They publish the fame of your abundant goodness
and joyfully sing of your justice.
R. The Lord is gracious and merciful.
The LORD is gracious and merciful,
slow to anger and of great kindness.
The LORD is good to all
and compassionate toward all his works.
R. The Lord is gracious and merciful.

Gospel: Matthew 9:18-26

While Jesus was speaking, an official came forward,
knelt down before him, and said,
“My daughter has just died.
But come, lay your hand on her, and she will live.”
Jesus rose and followed him, and so did his disciples.
A woman suffering hemorrhages for twelve years came up behind him
and touched the tassel on his cloak.
She said to herself, “If only I can touch his cloak, I shall be cured.”
Jesus turned around and saw her, and said,
“Courage, daughter! Your faith has saved you.”
And from that hour the woman was cured.

When Jesus arrived at the official’s house
and saw the flute players and the crowd who were making a commotion,
he said, “Go away! The girl is not dead but sleeping.”
And they ridiculed him.
When the crowd was put out, he came and took her by the hand,
and the little girl arose.
And news of this spread throughout all that land.

NAB

DEV_JU4

Imagine a lover who is faithful in every thought, word, and deed. Imagine a lover who would forgive you immediately for every mistake you made, the most minuscule to the largest whopper. Imagine a lover who does not take into consideration any of your past dalliances, any of your past obsessions, any of your past heartbreaks, but just loves you for who you are right now

His faithfulness is without end. He will love you to the moon and back (and further), and will never stray.

His mercy is inestimable. He will forgive you, without a grudge, for any offense.

His graciousness is immeasurable. He wants to fill you with every good thing.

His love for you is unfathomable. He longs for your heart; He longs for it to be joined to His.

That lover exists. And He exists for you. And you alone.

Jesus.

He is all these things . . . and more.

The readings today remind us of this Tremendous Lover of your soul. They remind us of the depths of His love for you. It is hard to imagine, for we always fall short, but His is truly the Love that satisfies all of your longings.

Remember this when you’ve turned away from Him—He will always take you back. Remember this when you feel like you’re not enough—you are everything He wants. Remember this when you’ve once again committed that sin you promised you wouldn’t repeat—He is ready to forgive completely.

Remember His great love for you and rest in the assurance of His love and mercy.

He is the Lover of your soul. Give your heart back to Him.

Is this kind of love difficult for you to accept? Ask Jesus to open your heart to accept Him in every way that He longs to love you.

Laurel Muff is a creator and appreciator of beautiful things. She resides with her husband and daughters in Northern California. You can find more about her here.

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