Scripture Reflection for Sunday, July 11, 2021
Updated: Apr 5, 2022
Amos 7:12-15 Ephesians 1:3-14 Mark 6:7-13
The readings this week are chock full of themes to reflect upon. First of all, each reading deals with the theme of being chosen. Amos is chosen by God to be a prophet who carries news to the Israelites. In his gospel, Mark writes of the commissioning of the disciples, as they are chosen by Christ to go forth and proclaim the message of God to all nations. This proclamation is, of course, the foreshadowing of the message in Ephesians...how we are all called to do what Christ summoned his first disciples to do. So, we have inherited that ministry. As Pope Francis has often declared: “We are missionary disciples”. Think about the power and authority that such a call represents!
As inspiring as this notion of being "called" is; there is also something else going on in these readings...and it is a very powerful nuance that applies to our call from God! Take a look at that first reading (from Amos) once again. Amos was a prophet to the people of Israel during a time when they were powerful and "well-to-do" as a nation. Throughout the book of Amos, he laments that many Israelites are flaunting their wealth and ignoring God's command to care for those among them who are less fortunate...who may need food or clothing or shelter...and those who are being treated unjustly. The recent pandemic notwithstanding, our own nation is very powerful right now. Yet there are many who are not being cared for, not being respected, not being treated with the love and mercy that God wants for them.
When I first studied the prophet Amos, many years ago, I was amazed at the power of his words, and the way he spoke of the importance of justice and peace. I was astounded as I realized that his message is as relevant today as it was over 2600 years ago. I was also "jarred" into thinking about what I might do to make this world a better place for those who are suffering. The message of the prophet Amos has become a yardstick for me over the years...and I still have a lot to do in order to "measure up” to that call. Amos foreshadowed what Christ came to proclaim. How am I being "called" to respond?