Risky Business

Amos-prophetOff with you, visionary…never again prophecy in Bethel.” (Am 7:12–13) Amaziah, Beth el, Amos, Israel, Judah…. Isn’t it often the case that the first reading from the Old Testament is this jumble of odd names and places – and not enough of the story to really know what is going on? Let me  fill  you in.

This whole scene takes place well after the time of King David when the 10 northern tribes have broken away from David’s and his successors, forming the nation called Israel – leaving 2 tribes in the south to form the nation of Judah.  The folks up north in Israel have built a rival capital to Jerusalem and even a rival temple – Beth El – literally, the “House of God” – and it has been that way for more than a hundred years. Continue reading

Amos: Prophet to Israel

Last week’s first readings were like an introduction to the Kings and Prophets. This week, the first reading begins to focus, not on the Books of 1 Kings and 2 Kings, but on the individual books of various prophets. Here is the “lineup” of first readings in the week to come:

  • Week of June 29 – Amos
  • Week of July 6 – Hosea
  • Week of July 13 – Isaiah
  • Week of July 20 – Micah & Jeremiah
  • Week of July 27 – Jeremiah

There are some breaks for the celebration of feast days, e.g., July 29, Sts Peter and Paul and July 3rd, St. Thomas the Apostle, but otherwise, it is a deep dive into the works and words of the prophets. Continue reading

Choosing the prophet

IsaiahprophetAs we move through the summer months there are a few things one could notice about the readings on Sundays. We have been reading from the Gospel of Mark, following Jesus as he gets a poor reception in his own home town and then sends disciples out on a mission of their own. This weekend the Sunday Gospel has the disciples returning from their mission. Jesus sees their condition and takes them to a place of rest. And likely, much like your life, things get in the way. The demands of their responsibilities lead them off-plan from rest in order to care for the people because Jesus saw the people with compassion. This is a prelude to recounting the miraculous feeding of the 5,000. Next weekend (and for the four following weekends) our Gospel will begin to cover this key event in Jesus’ ministry through the Gospel of John. Continue reading