In today's readings for Mass we read:
Thus says the LORD of hosts:
I am intensely jealous for Zion,
stirred to jealous wrath for her.
Thus says the LORD:
I will return to Zion,
and I will dwell within Jerusalem;
Jerusalem shall be called the faithful city,
and the mountain of the LORD of hosts,
the holy mountain.
Listen to my homily for today:
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The Gospel, a teaching of Jesus on discipleship, is actually a description of Our Father: childlike, humble, placing himself last, lowest, and least of all, as he is above all, over all, and in all. We are called to be children of Our Father by letting him be zealous to remove all that is not Christ from our hearts. We are called to be beloved to him.
Pope Benedict XVI's describes this fatherly jealousy as divine eros, which is desparate to free man from sin, that it desires man with zealous love. This is taken from the papal Encyclical, Deus Caritas Est (God is Love):
We have seen that God's eros for man is also totally agape. This is not only because it is bestowed in a completely gratuitous manner, without any previous merit, but also because it is love which forgives. Hosea above all shows us that this agape dimension of God's love for man goes far beyond the aspect of gratuity. Israel has committed “adultery” and has broken the covenant; God should judge and repudiate her. It is precisely at this point that God is revealed to be God and not man: “How can I give you up, O Ephraim! How can I hand you over, O Israel! ... My heart recoils within me, my compassion grows warm and tender. I will not execute my fierce anger, I will not again destroy Ephraim; for I am God and not man, the Holy One in your midst” (Hos 11:8-9).
Our Lady experienced the zealous love of the Father with gracious docility as the dearly beloved Daughter of the Father. May her prayers and intercession help us to surrender totally to the Father and be his little children.