The Angelus, Jean-François Millet, 1857-1859, Musée d’Orsay
September 22, 2019
This week, we read from the Book of Amos. We last read from this book in July of 2018. Oddly we will also read it again next week. This week, we look at one of the visions of Amos and examine the consequences of wrapping worship around injustice.
King Jeroboam 2 was king of Israel between 783–743 BC. He was a talented politician and saw that Assyria, the dominant power in the north at the time, was experiencing internal discord. He was able to expand his country’s boundaries and its trade bringing unparalleled prosperity, for at least the aristocracy. This was seen in the development of cities which centralized both worship and commerce often by the same people (king: Amos 7:10–11, high priest: Am. 7:16–17, and wealthy of Samaria: Am. 4:1–3). This prosperity also brought ignorance of God. It is to this world that Amos is sent.
The most critical development was the growth of a permanent underclass, which was contrary to the will of God. This is reflected not only in the writings of Amos and his near contemporary in the Northern Kingdom Micah, but in the other prophets as well. At about the same time Isaiah said:
Learn to do good.
Make justice your aim: redress the wronged,
hear the orphan’s plea, defend the widow
(Is. 1:17) Continue reading “25th Sunday Ordinary Time – Hearing the Cry of the Poor, Hearing God’s Word, and Acting!”