Memory of the Saints and the Prophets

Share On


Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

You are a chosen race,
a royal priesthood, a holy nation,
a people acquired by God
to proclaim his marvellous works.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Amos 5,14-15.21-24

Seek good and not evil so that you may survive, and Yahweh, God Sabaoth, be with you as you claim he is. Hate evil, love good, let justice reign at the city gate: it may be that Yahweh, God Sabaoth, will take pity on the remnant of Joseph. I hate, I scorn your festivals, I take no pleasure in your solemn assemblies. When you bring me burnt offerings . . . your oblations, I do not accept them and I do not look at your communion sacrifices of fat cattle. Spare me the din of your chanting, let me hear none of your strumming on lyres, but let justice flow like water, and uprightness like a never-failing stream!

 

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

You will be holy,
because I am holy, thus says the Lord.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The words of the prophet Amos seek to reveal and condemn the hypocrisy of those who continue to oppress the poor but think they are right because they worship according to the rules of the temple. There can be no worship of God without justice towards the poor. The prophets, on this point, are very clear and all agree. There is a God's disgust before a people who honour him with their lips and rites, without practicing justice and lifting the poor. The prophet Amos is very hard: "I hate, I despise your festivals, and I take no delight in your solemn assemblies.... But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream." This appeal must be much more present, but is often forgotten in a world that does not listen to the cry of the poor because it is taken by itself and the frantic search for individual well-being. The invitation of the prophet helps us find the way for our faith to be alive, to be effective: "Seek good and not evil that you may live; and so the Lord, the God of hosts, will be with you, just as you have said. Hate evil and love good, and establish justice in the gate." One cannot be a Christian without having these prophetic words before us. We cannot live as if evil and injustice did not exist. However, the complaint is not enough. It is necessary to work for the good, to work for justice. Our love for the poor is born of a right they have, that of being loved and helped. Doing good means fulfilling the task of creation, which the Lord wanted for good, and so that we could all participate in the good of all. There are poor people who are waiting for everyone to hear their cry and seek good with them.