13th Week, Monday, Jun 29th

Amos 2:6-11, 13-16 / Matthew 8:18-22 
Amos prophesies in Israel: “You trample on the poor!”

This week’s readings are from Amos. He’s the first of the so-called writing prophets, those whose works are recorded in books. Although Amos came from Tekoa, in the southern kingdom of Judah, he was sent by God to prophesy to the northern kingdom of Israel. Amos was ill-equipped to be a prophet. He himself said: “I am a herdsman, and I take care of fig trees. But the Lord . . . ordered me to come and prophesy to his people Israel.” Amos 7:14-15

At the time Amos preached, Israel was enjoying a period of prosperity. But the wealth benefited only a few who ignored the poverty of the masses.
What is our attitude toward the masses of poor? “Your extra bread belongs to the hungry; your extra coat belongs to the naked; and your extra gold belongs to the poor.” St. Basil
It is almost everyone's desire to have a comfortable life. So besides having enough to eat and a cozy place to stay in, we would also wish for financial security and also luxuries like a nice big car and maybe even servants to do our work for us. Yet, these desires only exist in dreams and seldom in reality. Even if these desires are achievable, they are like a bottomless pit and we can never be satisfied and contented.

There is something that Jesus said in the gospel that needs to be reflected upon and thought about. When He said that He has nowhere to lay His head, Jesus is almost like saying that He has no place in this world and that nothing belongs to Him. If Jesus can say that, then what about us? And if we want to be His disciples, are we also prepared to live like Him and have nowhere to lay our head?

We must remember that we live in a passing world and we are only stewards of what we have. Nothing really belongs to us forever, and we also cannot bring anything from here to the hereafter.

If we have nowhere to lay our heads on earth, then the other aspect is that there must be somewhere we can have hope in where our hearts will be at rest and find contentment.

May our hope be in our faith in God who will grant us peace and protect us from anxiety so that our lives will be lived in joyful hope.