We have two pictures of what it means to be human in our readings from Hosea and Luke today. Luke gives us the ‘self-made man’, who builds up a profitable business and is proud of the fruit of his labours. He’s the kind of man we tend to admire. We might even wish we were more like him.
On the other hand, the prophet Hosea gives us snapshots of a growing child. It’s like looking through a family album—a parent teaches a child to walk, the child rebels, the parent is angry because of the wounded love in her heart. The parent’s love for the child remains undiminished. The child is not ‘self-made’ at all; the child is primarily formed by the parent.