Thirteenth Week in Ordinary Time
Tuesday 1 July
Amos 3.1-8, 4.11-12
Psalm 5.5-8; Matthew 8.23-27
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The Lord God has spoken; who can but prophesy?
In July the lectionary regales us with an ample selection of readings from the prophets, beginning appropriately with the prophet Amos who wrote at a time of relative peace, prosperity and neglect of religion. He spoke out against an increased disparity between the very wealthy and the very poor. His major themes of social justice, God’s omnipotence – illustrated in today’s Gospel – and divine judgment became the staple of prophetic preaching. Following this prophetic tradition, Susan Thistlethwaite, an American Theologian, has written # Occupy the Bible (2012), a compelling prophetic call for Christians to live out the mandate for justice inherent within our faith, calling us to be ‘occupiers’ – people committed to the prophetic task of confronting rising poverty levels in our world and economic inequality. Amos’ message today – continued in tomorrow’s reading – is powerful and unvarnished.