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July 15, 2018 – Amos the Prophet of Social Justice

First Reading: Amos 7: 12 – 15

The prophet Amos was told by the court prophets to go back to where he came from.  What is happening here?

During this time court prophets are those who are the “professional prophets” because they are those who are part of the political institution in the kingdom. They are the ones that the king and the people consult in the officially recognized sanctuaries.

Amos is someone who is outside of the professional circle of prophets. This is the reason why Amaziah, who is a priest in Bethel, told Amos to go back to the land of Judah because there is no place here in Bethel for Amos. Note that Amos is considered as a prophet but not Amaziah.

What is the implication of this to our present-day realities?

This is actually relevant for us in the present. The Church stands as a voice that would seek to tell the truth even against those who are powerful. The sad part is that when those who are supposed to tell the truth will no longer speak it because of fear of those who are powerful.

The balance of power has to be maintained, or else those who have the sword will no longer temper themselves. Truth must be the test that power must have to reckon with or else those who are in power are bound to abuse the weak and the gullible.

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Bible Study 1 – The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil

What is the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil?

Is it a trap that God created so that Adam and Eve will fall into sin? Is it a destructive device that God set so that Adam and Eve will “self-destruct”?

Or is it something else?  Watch the video.

 

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July 1, 2018 – The Lord Uplifts the Humble

“For you know the gracious act of our Lord Jesus Christ that though he was rich, for your sake he became poor so that by his poverty you might become rich.”

This act of “emptying” made by Jesus showed that he placed himself at the lowest level so that our own lowliness becomes richer. In his utmost humility, no one can claim that there is someone more humble than him.

The degree of humility depends on one’s own dignity. A president who is humble is more magnanimous than a beggar who is humble. This is by virtue of justice. Thus, no one can be more humble than Jesus because Jesus is God. His dignity will never be equal by anyone except God himself. We can say therefore that because the dignity that Jesus left behind is incomparable.

With this in mind, we are reminded to humble ourselves. Sometimes our own accolades, successes and material possessions puff our egos. We might think that because we have made it in this world that we become superior to others. The reading today reminds us that humility finds its meaning in the dignity of the person thus the greater or successful you are, the humbler you have to be.