Wellspring of the Gospel


Year C: 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time

First Reading: Amos 6: 1, 4-7

Amos had a great gift for telling it like it is. He had come up from the country and so would have had a few rough edges. He was also unimpressed by finery and show -  and was not afraid to say so.

Today’s Reading has Amos laying it on the line. It is not a Reading to be read piously - in hushed tones. This is a Reading that pulls no punches. It uses strong language and ladles on the irony...people being “ensconced so snugly”... “sprawling on divans”...” “bawl(ing) to the sound of the harp” ... “drinking wine by the bowlful”. It does not create a pretty picture of a wealthy lifestyle.

But, there is a warning for the “sprawlers” in their revelry - it won’t last. They have ignored the poverty and corruption around them. Yes, they have done well out of it - but such a lifestyle won at the expense of the poor breaks God’s Law of justice. God will allow things now to take their course - and the rich and their children will suffer the consequences of their short-sightedness.

Like Dives in today’s Gospel, the rich have failed to see what is happening - they believe that their wealth will insulate them from whatever comes. In the end, it does not. At the time of the exile, it was the rich and noble who were taken first from the Promised Land of Israel. The poor - though under alien rule - stayed to work the land.

What does it mean for me?


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