HOMILY FOR THE 15TH SUNDAY OF ORDINARY TIME YR B (11/07/2021)
THEME: LIVING TO PREACH
The time was around the middle of the eighth century B.C. Amos, a layman, a farmer from a small village in the hill country of Judah was sent to the Northern Kingdom, Israel which had reached the summit of its material power and prosperity. The land was full of plenty, the cities elegantly built, the palaces were strongly defended and the rich had their summer and winter villas adorned in costly ivory. At the same time there was widespread corruption and immorality. The poor were afflicted, exploited, even sold into slavery. There was an absence of Justice and pity in the land: the judges were corrupt, the innocents were betrayed.
In the midst of all this luxury and misery, religion flourished. People thronged to the shrines at festival time to practise elaborate rituals. The priest Amaziah will not dare confront the ills because he may loose his job and occupation. He was bound to remain loyal to the state. He was preaching to live. And so when the Prophet Amos confronted the status quo, Amaziah did everything within his power to discredit him. Never did he know that Amos had a vocation and not an occupation. He was the voice of the voiceless. He was living to preach.
Dearly Beloved, all Christians are called as Prophets (common or ministerial) to be the voice of the voiceless. They are called to live to preach and not to preach to live. We must speak in whatever capacity we find ourselves against injustice, immorality and wickedness. Do not sell your conscience for the sake of money and material benefits, and become a puppet dancing to the tone of your long throat and the rich.