FIRST READING
“Go, prophesy to my people.”
A reading from the Book of the Prophet Amos (Amos 7 :12- 15)

In those days: Amaziah the priest of Bethel said to Amos, “O seer, go, flee away to the land of Judah, and eat bread there, and prophesy there; but never again prophesy at Bethel, for it is the king’s sanctuary, and it is a temple of the kingdom.” Then Amos answered Amaziah, “I am no prophet, nor a prophet’s son; but I am a herdsman, and a dresser of sycamore trees, and the Lord took me from following the flock, and the Lord said to me, ‘Go, prophesy to my people Israel. ”’

The word of the Lord.

RESPONSORIAL PSALM  Psalm 85:9ab and 10.11- 12.13-14 (R. 8)
R/. Let us see, O Lord, your mercy, and grant us your salvation.

I will hear what the Lord God speaks;
he speaks of peace for his people and his faithful.
His salvation is near for those who fear him,
and his glory will dwell in our land. R.

Merciful love and faithfulness have met;
justice and peace have kissed.
Faithfulness shall spring from the earth,
and justice look down from heaven. R.

R/. Let us see, O Lord, your mercy, and grant us your salvation.

Also the Lord will bestow his bounty,
and our earth shall yield its increase.
Justice will march before him,
and guide his steps on the way. R.

SECOND READING  
“He chose us in him before the foundation of the world.”
A reading from the Letter of Saint Paul to the Ephesians (Ephesians 1:3-14)

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. He destined us in love to be his sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace which he freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace which he lavished upon us. For he has made known to us in all wisdom and insight the mystery of his will, according to his purpose which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.*

In him, according to the purpose of him who accomplishes all things according to the counsel of his will, we who first hoped in Christ have been destined and appointed to live for the praise of his glory. In him you also, who have heard the word of truth, the Gospel of your salvation, and have believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.

The word of the Lord. *

ALLELUIA Ephesians 1:17-18
Alleluia. May the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ enlighten the eyes of our heart that we might know what is the hope to which he has called us. Alleluia.

GOSPEL
“He began to send them out.”
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Mark (Mark 6:7-13)

Jesus called to him the Twelve, and began to send them out two by two, and gave them authority over the unclean spirits. He charged them to take nothing for their journey except a staff; no bread, no bag, no money in their belts; but to wear sandals and not put on two tunics. And he said to them, “Where you enter a house, stay there until you leave the place. And if any place will not receive you and they refuse to hear you, when you leave, shake off the dust that is on your feet for a testimony against them.” So they went out and preached that men should repent. And they cast out many demons, and anointed with oil many that were sick and healed them.

The Gospel of the Lord.

Today’s Reflection

Amos was a herdsman and a dresser of sycamore trees with no prophetic lineage or experience. Amos preached against the injustice and the oppression of the poor by the rich and powerful class. Amazia, the priest of Bethel, asked him to go away and not to preach. Amos in reply tells the priest of his humble origin, but that he came with an accreditation from God to ‘go and prophesy’. In the gospel Jesus summons the twelve apostles and sends them out with a mandate to preach, to heal and to drive out evil spirits. They were mostly uneducated fisher folk. Amos and the apostles received their authority from God who chose and sent them. They are ambassadors of God, acting on his behalf. They had to face challenges and oppositions. Yet the result of their mission was amazingly successful because they trusted in and acted on behalf of the one who called and sent them. They remained faithful to him regardless of all opposition. The secret of their success is explained by Saint Paul, in his Christological hymn of blessing: “Blessed be God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ…. Thus he chose us in Christ before the world was made to be holy and faultless before him in love.”

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