In his day, public enemy number one was the Old Testament prophet, Amos. Uncompromising and contentious, Amos advocated for policies that frustrated the interests of the wealthy and powerful and promoted the interests of the poor and destitute. One way to get rid of Amos was to remind everyone that he was a foreigner and didn’t belong. He was a native of the south, the land of Judah, and so had no business intruding in the northern kingdom of Israel proper. “Get out of Town,” he’s told in no uncertain terms in our first reading.
Everyone who has ever confronted power on behalf of social justice has walked in the footsteps of Amos. In the gospel today Jesus sends his disciples out as prophets to proclaim the coming of the Kingdom. Amos had no resources or credentials to carry out his mission. What resources does Jesus pass on to his disciples to carry out their mission?
Our middle reading is a beautiful listing of all the blessings that fill the life of a Christian. We are reminded that we have “every spiritual blessing in the heavens.” It’s indeed a beautiful summary of the consolations that surround us through our share in the life of Christ.
—Walter Modrys SJ
This week’s readings can be found on the US Conference of Catholic Bishops’ website.