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NEVER JUDGE BY APPEARANCES

Father Francis's picture
Thirteenth Week in Ordinary Time

Amos 7:10-17 & Mt. 9:1-8

Amaziah, the priest of Bethel, considered Amos obnoxious and insufferable, because he preached that everyone in the kingdom of lsrael should repent. This included the king and the priests. He persuaded the king to get rid of Amos, not only because he took his preaching as an insult, but because he held him in contempt.

He considered him a nobody. He wasn't a prophet in his own right. He was nothing more than a shepherd and dresser of sycamores. On top of all this he was not from Israel but from the hated south of Judah.

How wrong he was! Amos had credentials of the highest order. It was no other than the Lord Himself who had taken him from the south and his previous work to be a prophet in the northern kingdom.

Jesus was in much the same position as Amos. Judging by appearances many considered Him to be nothing more than a carpenter's son who had suddenly made Himself a rabbi. When He forgave the sins of the paralytic, He was accused of blasphemy by usurping for Himself an authority which belonged to God alone. Little did these critics realise that beyond appearances lay His divinity. Jesus is God in flesh. Just as God worked through the humanity of Amos, the Son of God worked through His own humanity.

This divine providential movement continues to our day. God forgives sins in the Sacrament of Reconciliation through His priests. No priest forgives sins on his own - it is Christ who forgives. God goes even further. He not only uses humanity to touch people's lives, but also simple substances like bread and wine which become the Body and Blood of the Lord.

Lord Jesus, may we never judge by appearances, but by the light of faith and realise that You are at work among us, through many instruments and in many different ways.

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