Today's Scriptural Meditation Readings:
July 12 A..D. 2009
Scripture from today's Liturgy of the Word:
Psalm 85:9-10, 11-12, 13-14
Ephesians 1:3-14 or Eph 1:3-10
A reflection on today's Scripture:
Most people are "turned off" by fiery denunciations of sin by TV preachers. Even in the homilies we hear at Mass, we don't want anything too heavy, or any sharp criticism of our failings. But we do love to hear a humorous story. Often, that's all we remember.
This Sunday's reading from the Book of Amos, is about a prosperous sheep-breeder and a "dresser of sycamore trees" from the southern kingdom of Judah whom God called to prophecy in the northern kingdom of Israel. Here, King Jeroboam had made his land prosperous, with many of its citizens rich and comfortable. Unfortunately, the rich exploited the poor, making their lives almost intolerable.
Now, along comes the prophet Amos with a harsh message from God that their nation is nearing its end. God, in His anger, will send death to the king and slavery for its people. When the priest at the northern temple of Bethel hears this, he expels Amos, telling him to go home to Judah. But, Amos tries to explain to Amaziah that it wasn't his idea to become a prophet in the first place, but that his message is authentic, and they had better listen to it. Alas, it was to no avail. His prophecy came true when the Assyrians cruelly invaded Israel within a few years. The message of the prophets was rarely welcomed; many of the prophets were rejected and others were killed.
Today's Gospel from Mark gives Jesus' instructions to His disciples on how they, like the prophets, must conduct themselves. In effect, they are to travel light and rely on the generosity of townspeople for food and lodging. If they are badly treated, or their message is not welcomed, they are to "shake the dust from their feet" in protest, and go to another town.
Many in our society today are unwilling to listen to Christ's message. Fewer and fewer people, especially the young, attend Mass on Sundays. In effect, they are rejecting the prophets of our time.
Perhaps we should ask ourselves some questions this week:
1) Like Amos, we have been called; as disciples of Christ, we have been "missioned" to promote Christ's message through earnest, daily prayer,
through discussions with our neighbors, and especially by the example of our lives. How well am I doing that?
And 2) What will the judgment of God be on us if we fail in our responsibility? What will God's judgment be on our society which is so unwilling to listen to the Lord's prophets?
- Msgr. Paul Whitmore
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Sunday, July 12, 2009
Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Lives of the saints:
Full Scripture text from today's Liturgy of the Word:
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