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plowfieldAnother farming image took my attention this morning. The last few lines in the first reading from Hosea (10:12) sounded so direct and immediate while speaking to the whole of the seasonal process that it was hard to ignore. Sow for yourselves justice, says the prophet, reap the fruit of piety; break up for yourselves a new field, for it is time to seek the Lord. Attentiveness to the needs of the world and actions for the same are two sides of the call to justice – a call to which we are all responsible. Piety is sometimes seen as a virtue closed in upon itself, often coupled with the word “personal” so it seems to ignore others in the quest for holiness. But personal piety, it seems to me if we define it as the dictionary does, speaks of reverence and devotion which cannot help but overflow into our relations with others and the world. How can we be reverent toward God, devoted to the work of God, if we are not aware that all is one in God? Thus, piety calls for justice and justice for piety, so that we do not give in to the frustration and anger that come with the recognition of injustice. Hosea seems to be saying, however, that we are to go beyond our present understandings now. Breaking up a new field says to me something like “the harvest is plentiful but laborers are few.” It’s the last line that makes the whole thing seem so urgent. It’s time, people! Get out there (or go in!) and seek the Lord! It’s a new time and we need to be new people. Dig deeper! Ramp up your reverence! It’s time now. It’s time.

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