Eucharistic Readings for Sunday, July 14, 2019 Year C Track I
“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.” (Amos 7:14-15)
Amaziah thought he knew who Amos was. He thought Amos was one who made his living as a Prophet, but he was wrong. I am a lot like Amaziah, a cynic. I always look for the “what’s in it for the person proposing the deal.” Mechanics want to do diagnostics on your car that cost you but brings in money for them. The same is true for the medical field. They want to run “procedures” for which they will be paid to do. Financial advisors charge you to do your budget; personal trainers workout all day anyway and want you to pay for it. Why don’t they all get jobs like everybody else? Yes, I’m a cynical mess. Why can’t people have regular jobs and do their personal helping on the side.
Amos tells him that he was of the working class with no intention of being a preacher. But God intervened into his life with a mission. God has to find those of us who are not trying to be special to do the special work of salvation.
From the Gospel reading for today Jesus tells of the Samaritan who finds a wounded man left for dead on the side of the road. The Samaritan is not necessarily a doctor but cared about human life. He tended to the man and made provisions for his continued care. (Luke 10) The very people entrusted with the care of the people (the Priest and the Levite) pondered the negative consequences to themselves and avoided contact with the wounded man. They pondered the “what’s in it for me?” question. See what’s wrong with being a cynic?
You know, the reality is that it doesn’t matter what your vocation is. Some of the most loving and caring people in the world are doctors, mechanics, and financial advisors. I know all of mine by name and truly believe they have my best interest at heart. I don’t have a personal trainer; I do that myself, “on the side.” If your mind is set on being a productive citizen who cares about others, you are someone who can be used by God to influence those who have not seen the light that you are already walking in. And like Amos, you too may be called from your own work to do the saving work of God. This also happened to Paul who was tent maker, but he never stopped being a tent maker. Peter, even after the Resurrection, said, “I’m going fishing.” (John 21:3) This was his vocation from the beginning. So one could argue his teaching and preaching was in addition to his fishing, not instead of. This is truly something to ponder.
Ponder anew what the Almighty can do. John+