“Go, prophesy to my people.”
A reading from the Book of the Prophet Amos (Amos 7:10-17)
In those days: Amaziah the priest of Bethel sent to Jeroboam king of Israel, saying, “Amos has conspired against you in the midst of the house of Israel; the land is not able to bear all his words. For thus Amos has said, ‘Jeroboam shall die by the sword, and Israel must go into exile away from his land.”’ And Amaziah 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.’ “Now therefore hear the word of the Lord. You say, ‘Do not prophesy against Israel, and do not preach against the house of Isaac. ’ Therefore thus says the Lord: ‘Your wife shall be a harlot in the city, and your sons and your daughters shall fall by the sword, and your land shall be parcelled out by line; you yourself shall die in an unclean land, and Israel shall surely go into exile away from its land.”’
The word of the Lord.
RESPONSORIAL PSALM Psalm19:18.104.22.168 (R. 10b)
R. The judgements of the Lord are true,
they are, all of them, just.
The law of the Lord is perfect; it revives the soul.
The decrees of the Lord are steadfast;
they give wisdom to the simple. R.
The precepts of the Lord are right;
they gladden the heart.
The command of the Lord is clear;
it gives light to the eyes. R
The judgements of the Lord are true,
they are, all of them, just.
The fear of the Lord is pure, abiding forever.
The judgements of the Lord are true;
they are, all of them, just. R.
They are more to be desired than gold,
than quantities of gold.
And sweeter are they than honey,
than honey flowing from the comb. R.
ALLELUIA 2 Corinthians 5: 19
Alleluia. God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Alleluia.
“They glorified God, who had given such authority to men.
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew (Matthew 9: 1-8)
At that time: Getting into a boat Jesus crossed over and came to his own city. And behold, they brought to him a paralytic, lying on his bed; and when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Take heart, my son; your sins are forgiven.” And behold, some of the scribes said to themselves, “This man is blaspheming.” But Jesus, knowing their thoughts, said, “Why do you think evil in your hearts? For which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say ‘Rise and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of man has authority on earth to forgive sins” — he then said to the paralytic — “Rise, take up your bed and go home.” And he rose and went home. When the crowds saw it, they were afraid, and they glorified God, who had given such authority to men.
The Gospel of the Lord.
In the Gospel, Jesus cures a paralytic of his devastating physical and spiritual ailment, the false accusation by the teachers of the law, notwithstanding. The first reading tells us how the people of Israel were equally devastated by multifaceted social and spiritual malaise. Prophet Amos rose to the occasion by preaching repentance and conversion for them, entreating them to turn over a new leaf so as to enjoy God’s mercy and saving help. However, the fracas between Amaziah and prophet Amos is a clear manifestation of the clash of interests that sometimes raises its ugly head even in religious circles. Amos had to pay the price for standing up for what is right as against Amaziah who saw his calling merely as a career for personal gain.