A PROPHET LIKE MOSES

⏰FIFTEENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME (YEAR B)

📕Amos 7:12-15; Ps 85:9ab and 10, 11-12, 13-14 (R.v.8); Eph 1:3-14; Mark 6:7-13

Today, all the readings that we have in our liturgy give us one important message an invitation to share in the ministry of evangelization as God would want us to do and not as we would want it. Reflecting on this, the character of Moses as the ideal prophet in Israel comes to mind:

👉Moses was called by God; he did not call himself (cf. Exod 3);
👉He was selfless and an intercessor (cf. Exod 32:11-14);
👉He encouraged people to follow what God commands (cf. Deut 12:32 13:4).

At least, those three qualities are easily evident from today’s readings. In the First Reading, two personalities there give us an idea of two different kinds of prophets that we usually have: A prophet for himself and against God and another for others and for God.

Amaziah the priest was an example of a prophet for himself and against God. Consider his words against the prophet 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 Kings sanctuary, and it is the temple of the kingdom” (Amos 7:12-13).

Recall that Bethel was the place in which Jacob had dreamt of the presence of God – a sign of communion with men (cf. Gen 28:10-22). Sadly, King Jeroboam, in a bid to secure his political sovereignty, decided to build temples at Bethel and turned the people’s face away from God (cf. 1 Kings 12:26-33). Instead of Amaziah working to return people to the worship of God, he moved against it (cf. Amos 7:13).

On the other hand, Amos was not concerned about his person but about what the Lord wants. He acknowledged that the call was not his but the Lord’s. That is the kind of disposition which Jesus wants his disciples to have. By telling them not to take anything which would ensure their material security (cf. Mark 6:8-9), he was making them to depend on God, since no matter their effort, it is God who ensures the growth of what they plant (cf. 1 Cor 3:5-9).

Just like Amos who was a mere herdsman before his call but got transformed into a prophet by God’s action on him, St. Paul reminds us in the Second Reading that we too, who are redeemed in Christ, are called to renew the face of the earth in our different states of life and in various places we may find ourselves.

It is also a special warning for us to be careful of those who claim to be prophets of God in our time. In the Matthean parallel of today’s Gospel, the evangelist added, “You received without pay, give without pay” (Matt 10:8).

So any prophet that would collect money from you before interceding for you would be considered as a false prophet. And anyone who would ask you to do anything against the commandments of God is not from God. Be careful and look well before you leap.

May God save us from all evil and false prophets and grant us ideal prophets after his own heart. Amen.

Peace be with you.

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