Go and prophesy for my people, 15 Sunday in Ordinary Time 2018 B

Friends, for each day that passes, I understand even better that the only way to obey God is to put God's Word in actions in everyday situations. The whole world goes through an incredible change process. Much suffering has been caused by the apathy and indifference and lack of respect and reverence for human life that exist around the world. My experience during my last visit to Nigeria is that most people who call themselves Christians do not distant themselves from the power of darkness and therefore do not live in the grace of God's baptism. Many rejoice and become strong in crime and evil. Now more witnesses to the gospel is needed more than ever. That we are blessed by God is hardly something we need to doubt. That God sent His only Son to the world because He loves us is a fact. Thanks to this fact, we can never deny God's love. When we encounter suffering or weakness in ourselves or others, we cannot forget that God has blessed us through Christ with all spiritual blessings in heaven. It is not a historical event in the sense that it belongs to the past, but He gives His Son forever. The resurrection of Jesus is enough proof of God's love and power in us.

It has never been easy to prophesy or testify of God's Word to people. Nevertheless, some people are called upon to do this. The prophet Amos, the apostle Paul and the twelve apostles we meet in today's texts narrate how people in different times and places have received the call and how society also received them. The mission remains the same at all times - proclaiming the word of God and helping people to a personal meeting with him, thus healing the individual in her being. Christ's Light helps us to distance ourselves from the power of darkness and to live in the grace of baptism.

Religion has always had a role to play in society. It has been used for various purposes throughout the ages. Sometimes it has been used to oppress and repress the poor and weak. With religion, the north could justify slavery and colonialism of people from the south. However, this does not mean that religion does not have positive forces in society. Over and over again, we Christians are urged to reassess our faith. It is such a reassessment that Amos called the people of Israel.

Amaziah was the priest of Bethel, which was the king's city with a temple that was originally the temple of the kingdom before the temple of Jerusalem was built. Amos was a shepherd from Judah who suddenly received a prophetic mission from the Lord. At that time there were prophets and priests serving with the kings. This tradition has continued in many countries, especially in developing countries where there are today pastors, evangelists or imams who are responsible for the spiritual needs of the president or prime minister. At that time neither the king nor priests, nor prophets, nor the people were particularly interested in God and his words. Amos proclaimed that religious acts without a morally good life were without value. Faith must have practical consequences in everyday life. Amos prophesied that King Jeroboam would be murdered, and Israel taken away in exile. Amasja was upset and felt threatened with Amo's prophecy and tried to stop him. He dismissed him and distorted Amo's prophecy to be a plot of Amos to kill the king.

Amos told Amasja how he was called by God. He was neither a prophet nor a prophet disciple. With this we can realize that Amos well understood how Amasja had used the word "sire". Amasja uses the word thus to mock, ridicule and make fun of Amos. He compares Amos to the false prophets who say something to earn money. For these, they meant to prophesy to make money just to provide a living for themselves. The question is whether Amasja was different from these false prophets. Therefore, Amos rightly states that he had not received the assignment from anyone other than God. Against this background, no one can stop him from saying what God urges him to say. God said to him, "Go and prophesy for my people Israel". Amos had no choice but to obey God. Amos obeys none other than God. He was not a professional prophet as Amasja had meant.

What happened to Amos eight hundred years before Christ has happened time and again throughout the ages and is still happening in our time to a much greater extent. Amos was mocked, derided and expelled because the leaders and the people would not listen to God. The servants of God continue to suffer in many places in the hands women and men. The Son of God, Jesus, was killed as a criminal. The apostles whom Jesus called and chose suffered greatly and the Church which Christ founded to continue as an instrument in the ministry is constantly suffering. Many faithful Christians have given their lives for the sake of the gospel. Because of this, Saint Augustine says. "The blood of the martyrs is the seed of Christians".

Today's indifference, resistance, denial, dismissal of God may be said to be much more than Amo's time. Atheistic thinking and agnosticism, scepticism is forced on all countries and individuals today. In the name of democracy, country after country denies Christ and throws away its Christian roots. God has no place anymore in many countries. The autonomy and reason God gave us for us to serve him has become a weapon with which we reject and rationalize him out of our world. The tragedy is that many are not surprised or challenge all these attacks against the Christian faith. As long as these atheistic ideologies do not hinder their economic and political interests, they are okay for most Christians. Too bad we think we can dismiss God and at the same time enjoy peace in our lives and in the world. What has autonomy and freedom led us to? Terror, terror and terror everywhere is all that we see. The greed of human beings never goes well. It is often said that while God has set limits to human intelligence, he has no limits for human stupidity.

Most palace prophets used to tell the king what he wanted to hear. If anyone else said anything different, they did everything in their power to get these out of the way by accusing them of prophesying falsely. Our world has become a place where to be accepted, one must become politically correct. Success in the world's sense depends on how much you adapt to this world and its values. This has probably become one of the most important instruments that this ruler of this dark world uses to lead people away from God. A prophet's mission has become a painful call in our day. Living and putting politically correct thinking above God's word is idolatry. This must be combated both in individuals and in our church and in our society.

Without prophets the people perish, Proverbs 29:18. False prophets abound in this time. The devil tempted Jesus with bread. Prosperity, control and security have become the temptations of our time. The social utopia ruins everything. The Devil requires obedience and loyalty. Everything seems like a sinking sand. Our time requires discernment, assessment, reassessment. As Christians, we are called and chosen among many, to be under a higher force. A prophet acts with religious and moral authority, judges his time and gives guidance. The prophet interprets our history and the signs of the time. The Prophet challenges and wishes well. Through indifference and short-sightedness, many have died and are no longer aware of threatening dangers.

Like false prophets and priests during Amaziah's time, today's false prophets and evangelists earn money by saying their own words not the word of God. Simply put, they are sycophants to the king. Neither the king, the priests, nor the false prophets wanted to hear the word of God. It's hard to avoid seeing that the world is in the same situation today. Most of us do not prioritize God in our lives today. It is autonomy, self-determination that are our gods today. Everyone wants the freedom to do what they want, regardless of whether they are contrary to the word of God or not. Obviously, this is the fact when we look at sexual, economic or political morality that prevails in our society. We prefer not to hear what the Bible says about issues such as abortion, contraception, euthanasia, cheating, lies, bribery, corruption, scamming, sex before marriage, infidelity in marriage. Politicians and we all strive to be politically correct....

 

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