SS for June 30, ‘20
Today’s first scripture is from the Prophet Amos, one of the first prophets in our Sacred Scriptures. Amos was active around 750 years before Christ. The Jewish people lived in two kingdoms, the northern kingdom called Israel and the southern kingdom, Judea. Amos brought God’s word to the northern kingdom. His preaching emphasized what we would call social justice… treat people fairly, especially the poor. In today’s reading Amos warns the people of God’s impending judgement against them for their sinful behavior against the poor…
… so now I will deal with you in my own way, O Israel! And since I will deal thus with you, prepare to meet your God, O Israel.
By the year 721, shortly after Amos, the Kingdom of Assyria will invade the northern Kingdom of the Jews and leave it in ruins.
The final chapters of Amos promise hope for God’s people whom loving God will redeem.
In today’s Gospel the disciples of Jesus are in a boat and a storm arises. Jesus is asleep in the boat. They wake him saying, “Lord save us, we are perishing!” Jesus got up and calmed the winds and the sea. The men were amazed and said: “What sort of man is this, whom even the winds and the sea obey him?”
We are in the midst of storms now in our country… covid 19 and massive marches calling for justice in the midst of racism and social injustice. There is some violence involved, but the main message of most of the marchers is the demand for dealing fairly with our black people in the face of so many seemingly unnecessary deaths. Mother St. Theresa said that ‘we have forgotten that we belong to each other, we are kin’. The storm rages on… and we say to our loving God, “Lord save us, we are perishing.”
Pope Francis reminds us how God will help us…
… Jesus Christ is the face of the Father’s mercy. These words might well sum up the mystery of the Christian faith. Mercy has become living and visible in Jesus of Nazareth, reaching its culmination in him… In the “fullness of time” (Gal 4:4), when everything had been arranged according to his plan of salvation, he sent his only Son into the world, born of the Virgin Mary, to reveal his love for us in a definitive way. Whoever sees Jesus sees the Father (cf. Jn 14:9). Jesus of Nazareth, by his words, his actions, and his entire person reveals the mercy of God. (Pope Francis, Bull of Indication for the Year of Mercy, Aug 11, 2015, # 1-3)
Today we appeal to our God to help us in the midst of our stormy times. We also examine our hearts seeking forgiveness for any racist thoughts or actions in our lives, and we ask our merciful Jesus to help us to remember that “we belong to each other”, we are all kin.