A call to liberate the oppressed
By REV. FR. SAMUEL FREDERICK
Amos 2:6-10.13-16, Mt. 8:18-22. It is easier to judge and condemn others for their faults than to pay attention on ourselves. Today we are challenged to honestly look at our own short-comings and sinful attitudes. We are enjoined to make a complete and total commitment to being disciples, that is, disciplined learners of Jesus. If we are going to compare ourselves to anyone, it must be to Jesus to rediscover ourselves. Today's first reading describes how the prophet Amos condemned the wicked activity of the people of his days. He, like many other prophets, condemned the evil ways of the people, especially in reference to the manner they treated the downtrodden. More than any other part of the Old Testament these prophetic writings help us to understand Jesus, who was above all the prophets. In some ways, Jesus and these ancient prophets speak with such finality that they seem to bring conversation to a close. However, their statements remain long within our memory and force us to reflect deeply.
In today's Gospel, Jesus affirmed: “Let the dead bury their dead." How well this echoes the stern message of Amos. With no show of emotion, Amos cited the evidence in the long list of social abuses in which the poor were oppressed. The rich trampled upon the weak and forced the lowly out of the way. People who go on committing such crimes are morally dead. Amos declared that God will avenge the poor and the oppressed, just as He once saved them from Egyptian slavery. The Scribe who approached Jesus spoke in a way that suggested that he had a generosity of spirit and the best of intentions: “Master, I will follow you wherever you go.” In response, Jesus calmed his curiosity with the reality of what lies ahead for him as a disciple: “The Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.” He will be following someone who is always on the move, without a real home to call His own. Sometimes our generosity of spirit and our curiosity may not come to terms with the harsh realities of life. At this point, we need the Lord to be our strength when we lose heart, our inspiration when we are tempted to settle for less and our refuge when we come face to face with the storms of life. We can only be faithful to the Lord if we allow the Lord at the same time to be our resource and food for the journey. That is what He expects of us always, for He will not want us to walk alone but to rely on Him for guidance.
May the Lord who is full of love, mercy and compassion continue to watch over us and inspire us that we may ever be better disciples now and always, to be His witnesses and messengers to our world and communities! Amen!! Good morning and have a terrific week!!!