Thursday of the 13th week in the ordinary time
Theme: The cost of discipleship
In today’s 1st reading, we see the challenges that are encountered by those who stand for what is good and right, as against those who act based on their selfish interest and greed. The prophet Amos is the mouth piece of God in this instance to the people of Israel. But his assertions made Amaziah the priest of Bethel uncomfortable and he had to bear false witness against Amos. This was simply because Amos was standing for what is good and right. This did not go down well with Amaziah because it will expose and discredit him; so he felt the best thing was to discredit him and make him unpopular among the people.
The situation the prophet Amos found himself at that time has not changed even in our own time. Sometimes individuals or a group plan to bring down or discredit another person for their selfish interests and greed. My brothers and sisters in Christ, the scenario that plays out itself in today’s 1st reading should not be found among us as children of God, especially the role that Amaziah the priest of Bethel played in ensuring that he discredits Amos; the mouth piece of God in this instance. In everything we do, we have to be conscious of the fact that we are children of God and his representative here on earth. Let your actions be guided by sincerity of purpose at all times. Speak the truth at all times and stand for what is right and correct in every situation you find yourself; lest we begin a battle with God without our knowledge.
Dearly beloved in Christ, jealousy, greed and self-centredness has led many people away from the path that is pleasing to God. Just like the Priest of Bethel, his fight against Amos was simply because the presence and teaching of Amos will affect his personal gain and interests that are detrimental to the people. He was willing to destroy Amos, just to continue to exploit the people. The attitude of the priest of Bethel is found amongst us as people of God, let us make effort to remove all such practices from our life and embrace the path that Amos has chosen; which will lead us all to eternal life.
Also in the gospel reading of today, we see the teachers of the law accusing Jesus falsely. This goes to show that it’s a challenge that we have to brace up to face in our call to discipleship. The most important thing is that we have to endeavour to stand on the path of the truth, no matter who is involved. Our personal gain should not blind us to the truth and what is right. As you do this, may almighty God bless you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. Peace be with you.