In the first of today’s readings. Hosea speaks as God’s prophet. Now, the Old Testament word for a prophet was nabi, which was originally was a child’s name for his mouth. So, the way those people saw it, a prophet was one who let God borrow his mouth.
God here used Hosea’s mouth to announce his deep feelings. Those feeling come out in these words, “When Israel was a child I loved him. I taught Israel how to walk, and I held him to my cheeks.” That sounds very human, but it was God who taught us how to be beautifully human.
In the Gospel, Jesus told his disciples to bring nothing with them when they went to spread the Gospel. It wasn’t that he wanted them to practice poverty as a virtue. No, he wanted them to tighten their bonds of friendship with people by eating with them instead of going to a motel.
He told them that when they were leaving a town that was totally inhospitable, they were to shake the dust of that town off their sandals. Interestingly, the only other time they were told to shake the dust from their feet, was when they were entering the temple. They were not to bring filth into a holy place.
In shaking the dust from their feet when passing from an inhospitable town out into God’s world they were equivalently calling God’s whole world a holy place.
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