The 15th Sunday of the Year

Amos 7:12-15; Eph 1:3-14; Mk 6:7-13 (Year B)

“Go away, seer, get back to the land of Judah. We want no more prophesying in Bethel: this is the royal sanctuary, the national shrine.”

The prophet Amos was clearly an unwelcome visitor to Israel’s northern kingdom. His stubborn denunciation of a corrupt kingdom that manipulated wealth to the detriment of the poor was still less welcome. The local inequalities that he denounced in the 8th-century BC have become the global inequalities that contribute to famine and war in our own generation. If, like the prophet Amos, we are to become a voice that cries out for justice, our voice must be rooted in the Lord, who is love and justice. “It was the Lord who took me from herding the flock, and who said, ‘Go, prophesy to my people Israel.”

Amos was more than a social reformer. In mind and heart he was held in the hand of a compassionate Lord who welcomed the stranger and rejoiced in the poor.

As Amos had been sent to prophesy, so Jesus commissioned the Twelve. The authority that they would bring to their mission lay not in themselves, but in the communion that they shared with their Lord. Thus they were to take nothing for the journey, no bread, no haversack, no coppers for their purses. Their poverty was to become the vessel of the Lord’s presence.

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