St Maria Goretti, virgin & martyr
14th Week in Ordinary Time : Wednesday 6th July 2022
Hos. 10:1-3,7-8,12; Ps. 104:2-3,4-5,6-7;
Mt. 10:1-7 (Ps Wk II)
The message prophesied by prophet Hosea may date to the early years of King Hoshea of Samaria. During this time, the land was again producing abundant fruit as it recovered from the disastrous war against Assyria. However, the hopes for moral reform and a return to social justice have turned into empty words and false promises. The rites to idols, especially the male god, Baal, and the female goddess, Astarte, continue among the people. Hosea prophesies that a new and worse invasion by Assyria will happen if Samaria continues these idolatrous rites.
In the face of the destruction that will come, the new king’s authority will become meaningless. The destruction will be so cruel and complete that people will cry out to the mountains to fall upon them. Still, there is time for a reversal of the situation, if the people turn back and seek the Lord. But God’s call for conversion falls on deaf ears and cold hearts. In time, Samaria is attacked and conquered by Assyria. The strong rule of Assyria alters the identity, culture and religion of the people of Samaria.
It is in this context that Jesus tells his disciples, “Do not turn your steps to pagan territory, and do not enter any Samaritan town….” For now, the disciples’ mission is limited to the people of Israel. Only after the death and resurrection of Jesus does the universal mission to the “whole world”, including the Samaritans, begin. It is a sign that the risen Lord now has authority over the whole world and all peoples.
Lord, You are the king of my life.