Today’s Old Testament reading is from Hosea, and here is an extract: ‘I will heal their faithlessness; I will love them freely, for my anger has turned from them. I will be as the dew to Israel; he shall blossom as the lily, he shall strike root as the poplar; his shoots shall spread out; his beauty shall be like the olive, and his fragrance like Lebanon. They shall return and dwell beneath my shadow, they shall flourish as a garden; they shall blossom as the vine, their fragrance shall be like the wine of Lebanon’. The imagery in this passage recalls the beauty and peace of Eden before the Fall; and it is the beauty and peace to which our Lord leads us in His Passion and Resurrection, His redeeming work. It is the joy that awaits us in the Beloved Son. May He be close to us this day, and bless all our endeavours for Him.