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Wednesday, July 8, 1998

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Hosea 10:1-3, 7-8, 12
Psalm 105:2-7
Matthew 10:1-7

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"Break up for yourselves a new field, for it is time to seek the Lord." —Hosea 10:12

Most peoples of the Bible were agricultural. Like all farmers, they had a special kind of relationship with the ground.

Hosea prophesied that, if the people did not repent of their idolatry, the ground would be their death. The mountains would cover them and the hills fall on them (Hos 10:8; Rv 6:16). An unrepentant, idolatrous people would be buried in a spiritual landslide.

However, if we repent and become disciples of Jesus, we will plow the ground and bear much fruit. If we keep our hands to the plow and persevere in being disciples (Lk 9:62), we will break up for ourselves a new field (Hos 10:12).

The ultimate Christian relationship with the ground is not only to plow it but to move it. If we have faith the size of a mustard seed, we can move mountains (Mt 17:20) to fill in valleys (Is 40:4) and make a highway for our God (see Lk 3:4; Is 35:8).

Will ground be life-giving or death-dealing for you? Repent and make disciples of all nations (Mt 28:19). Work the ground for Jesus.

Prayer:  Father, teach me to be a farmer in the Spirit.

Promise:  "As you go, make this announcement: 'The reign of God is at hand!' " —Mt 10:7

Praise:  After nursing a grudge and judging his in-laws for seventeen years, John finally forgave them.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, November 29, 1997

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, December 2, 1997