How do you look at yourself?
"Now hear the word of the Lord!" (Amos 7:16). What God asks of you may not be what you or those around you expect or even welcome at first. Listening for and following God's words, though, will never steer you wrong.
Reflecting on Amos today, we can see that he was considered obnoxious because he preached the need of repentance by all in
including the king and the priests. Amaziah tried to persuade the king to get
rid of Amos not only because he took his preaching as an insult, but because he
held Amos in contempt. He considered him a "nobody." And indeed in
comparison with Amaziah, the priest of Israel ,
Amos was a nobody. He admitted that he was not a prophet, that he was nothing
more than a shepherd and a dresser of sycamores. He didn't even want the job of
prophet; he would have liked to be left alone, to stay in his comfort zone as
we say! Bethel
Despite appearances, Amos had credentials of the highest order. It was God Himself who had taken him from the south and his previous work to be a prophet to the northern kingdom. His worth was not due to his own sagacity but only to the call of God.
Jesus was in much the same position as Amos. Judging by appearances, many considered Him to be nothing more than a carpenter's son who had suddenly become a rabbi. He was about forgiveness and healing for all. When He forgave sins, they accused Him of blasphemy. Jesus who for us is God in the flesh!
Our heavenly Father acted through the humanity of Amos and Jesus, His Son, acted through His own humanity. And it all continues to this day. No priest forgives sins on his own in the sacrament of Confession. He does so by the power of Christ Jesus granted him by ordination. It is really Christ who forgives.
In today's Gospel, there is a deep need for both healing and forgiveness. Jesus forgives, brings new life, and heals the man paralyzed and burdened by guilt. Jesus comes to us with those same God-given gifts for us: forgiveness and healing. He is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.
In our responsorial psalm today we prayed, "The law of the Lord is perfect" (Ps 19:8). God can be trusted in His creation because of His grace. May we listen to God's message and take it to heart. And by the light of faith may we see God at work among us through His chosen instruments. How do you look at yourself?