FIRST READING
Take away from me the noise of your songs; but let justice roll down like waters.
A reading from the Book of the Prophet Amos (Amos 5: 14-15.21-24)

Seek good, and not evil, that you may live; and so the Lord, the God of hosts, will be with you, as you have said. Hate evil, and love good, and establish justice in the gate; it may be that the Lord, the God of hosts, will be gracious to the remnant of Joseph. “I hate, I despise your feasts, and I take no delight in your solemn assemblies. Even though you offer me your burnt offerings and cereal offerings, I will not accept them, and the peace offerings of your fatted beasts I will not look upon. Take away from me the noise of your songs; to the melody of your harps I will not listen. But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream,” says the Lord.

The word of the Lord

RESPONSORIAL PSALM
R. To one whose way is blameless,
I will show the salvation of God
.

“Listen, my people, I will speak;
Israel, I will testify against you,
for I am God, your God.” R.

“I do not rebuke you for your sacrifices;
your offerings are always before me.
I do not take more bullocks from your farms,
nor goats from among your herds.” R.

“For I own all the beasts of the forest,
beasts in their thousands on my hills.
I know all the birds on the mountains;
all that moves in the field belongs to me.” R.

R. To one whose way is blameless,
I will show the salvation of God.

“Were I hungry, I would not tell you,
for the world and its fullness is mine.
Do I eat the flesh of bulls,
or drink the blood of goats?” R.

“How can you recite my commandments,
and take my covenant on your lips,
you who despise correction,
and cast my words behind you?” R.

ALLELUIA James1:18
Alleluia. Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth that we should be a kind of first fruits of his. Alleluia.

GOSPEL
You have come here before the appointed time to torment the demons.
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew (Matthew 8:28-34)

At that time: When Jesus came to the other side of the sea, to the country of the Gadarenes, two demoniacs met him, coming out of the tombs, so fierce that no one could pass that way. And behold, they cried out, “What have you to do with us, O Son of God? Have you come here to torment us before the time?” Now a, herd of many swine was feeding at some distance from them. And the demons begged him, “If you cast us out, send us away into the herd of swine.” And he said to them, “Go.” So they came out and went into the swine; and behold, the whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the sea, and perished in the waters. The herdsmen fled, and going into the city they told everything, and what had happened to the demoniacs. And behold, all the city came out to meet Jesus; and when they saw him, they begged him to leave their neighbourhood.

The Gospel of the Lord.

Today’s Reflection

As a humble shepherd from Judah in southern Isreal, Amos received a genuine call as a prophet to champion the cause of social justice in northern Israel. He courageously preached against the unacceptable injustice and complacent lifestyle of the wealthy elite. He also denounced their empty religiosity devoid of practical charity towards the poor. By healing the demoniacs of their spiritual bondage in the gospel, Jesus proved practically that he had come to destroy the old order of sin and so establish a new order of grace rooted in freedom. And it is only those who are able to recognize his healing power through faith that can truly be free and thus have the power to work towards healing and liberating the world.

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