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We will say no more, “Our God,” to the work of our hands. ~ Hosea 14:3b 

Today’s readings center on the theme of idolatry. Hosea condemns Israel for placing their faith in the Assyrians and worshiping the work of their own hands. Psalm 81 warns against having a “strange god among you,” and in Mark 12:28–34, Jesus emphasizes the priority of loving God with heart, soul and mind. In each case, Scripture underscores God’s desire that we place our faith solely in the One who led us out of Egypt.

Discussing idolatry in the twenty-first century may seem unusual, but I invite us to consider it as a prompt to reflect on where our ultimate faith lies. When faced with challenges, who and what do we truly believe in? Where do we put our trust? While modern idolatry may not involve carving and worshiping statues, many of us (myself included) spend a significant part of our day with our heads bowed down to smartphones. Technology is often hailed as the solution to societal issues. Similarly, in almost every sector of society, people overvalue money’s ability to solve all sorts of intractable problems. These texts remind us to question where we place our faith and to return to something deeper and more intrinsic.

Hosea beautifully describes God as a Cypress tree and God’s mercy as dew, emphasizing the gap between the work of our hands and the steadfastness of the earth itself. What would it mean to reevaluate where we place our ultimate trust?

Today’s readings

In a world where technology and wealth often take center stage, how can we ensure that our faith and trust remain firmly rooted in something deeper and more enduring, as emphasized in Scripture?

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