Fifteenth Sunday Cycle B
July 11, 2021
For the next few Sundays, we will hear from several prophets.
This Sunday, Amos.
And then, next Sunday, Jeremiah
And if we look at their history, one thing they seem to have in common is that all prophets are persecuted and rejected.
Today's prophet, Amos, was called by God to speak to His people from 783-743 B.C. He was a shepherd and a dresser of sycamore trees, which meant he was a low cast person, called by God.
Who would listen to him? Yet, Amos knew that he was called by God to make God's Word present; that the people had once again abandoned God.
What we hear is that the head priest, Amaziah, at the sanctuary in Bethel, is outraged at the claims made by Amos; that Israel had abandoned God and would go into exile and the king Jeroboam II would be killed.
Amos is accused of not being a prophet, and as such, has no right to preach, and so is rejected.
Even today, we, as individuals and as a society, reject the prophets that come into our own lives. Whenever some event or person challenges us, or makes us uncomfortable, we fail to see God's part in this. Could it be God has given us a prophet even today? Perhaps God is trying to show us that we do not have patience, or mercy, or compassion, or love for the enemy.
We also need to remember that we too, at our Baptism, were anointed and called by God to be a prophet, priest, and king. We are to make God present for others.
Like Amos and the other prophets, we too will be rejected, persecuted, disliked. And yet, we need to continue to make God present to others, not only by our words, but most importantly, by our actions- our mercy, compassion, forgiveness, etc.
When Saint Paul finds himself in prison in Rome as he appeals to Caesar, he knows he has been called by Christ. He writes to the Christian Community in Ephesus. He encourages them to remain faithful, and to realize the great gift that has been given them, the Way to eternal life.
These words from his letter that we hear today, are also be important for each of us, especially in those times of rejection, persecution, giving up, etc. We are still called to make God present to others, just like all the prophets of old.
Jesus sends us out every day, just as He did his apostles.
It can be hard to comprehend just how much God loves humanity, and in every generation, wants us to have an important part in making Him present to others.
We are to carry God's message throughout the world.
For sure, God wants every human being to reach eternal life. And God uses us. Remember that at our Baptism we were anointed and called to be priest, prophet, and king.
...prophets (we are all to make God present for others),
...priests (we are all to make sacrifices for others)
... kings (we are all a part of the kingdom of God).
Jesus tells us, as He did the Apostles, not to take anything extra with us. That can mean, our ideas of how things should go when we are to make God present for others. We all know that rejection and persecution will be there for us. To the world of today, what we know as truth and the Word of God, is rejected.
We will be considered old fashion, outdated, uneducated, etc. Yet we are still to make God present through our living the words and teachings of Christ.
Pray to be up to the challenge
For each of us, it is the way to eternal life
You have been called and given the Spirit by God