Homily Fifteenth Sunday Year B Prophetic call

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Homily Fifteenth Sunday Year B

Reading 1: Background. Because of the sins of the Kings of Israel beginning with Solomon, the unified Kingdom of David was divided into two: the Northern Kingdom of Israel and the Southern Kingdom of Judah.

Amos was called by God to go to the Northern Kingdom and prophesy. A prophet speaks the word of God. His message is strong, calling them to repentance, to return to the God of their fathers, and to forsake their foreign gods and immoral ways. If they did not, God said he would wreck disaster upon them at the hands of their enemies.

Amaziah was a priest of the Northern Kingdom, who spoke the feelings of the religious leaders of the day. He chastised Amos for his harsh words and told him to go back to Juda. Amos’ response was that it was God who sent him and therefore Amaziah has no authority over him and his ministry.

Each of us is a prophet by virtue of our baptismal commitment. This was confirmed and renewed in the Sacrament of Confirmation. In Baptism we were told when we were anointed with the oil of Chrism, “You share in the ministry of Jesus as priest, prophet and king.” In Confirmation we were told we were witnesses for Jesus Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit. One of the gifts of the Holy Spirit, Paul tells us, is prophecy.

How conscious have we been of this calling in our life, to be a prophet, a spokesperson for Jesus in the power of the Holy Spirit? Are our lives prophetic proclamation of the truths revealed by God? Or do we give in to the voice of the world, telling us to step out of the public arena and do not speak the truth that has been forgotten?

Reading 2: This reading gives us the foundation for our calling as prophet. We have been blessed by God--not due to anything we have done—with every spiritual blessing that we will ever need. This is because of God’s grace and love.

The plan of God is simple. He has chosen us in Christ Jesus before the world began to be holy, blameless in his sight, to be full of love. He has adopted us as his sons and daughters to share in his divine life and to be with him forever in glory. Wow! What went wrong? Sin came into the world. As a result of sin, we deserved God’s wrath. Instead, he showed us mercy, redeeming us by the blood of Jesus.

Now, our purpose in life is to exist for the praise of his glory. For this reason he has poured out the Holy Spirit upon us so that we may be able to fulfill our calling, to be holy, blameless in his sight and full of love, proclaiming the truth as prophets in praise of his name.

Gospel: What Jesus did for the Apostles, he does for us. Having formed them, he chose them. Then he empowered them to do what he did, namely to bring the message of the truth to others, to cleanse and heal them in his name. He reminded them of the urgency of the times. People will perish, if they do not repent. They were to depend upon God for everything

In trust they went two by two and did what Jesus told them to do. As a result, they saw the power of God manifested in the lives of those who heard their message and opened themselves to the power of God.

The twelve serve as a model for us. It is not a story of the past but a message to be lived and experienced today. We are his disciples, prophets of today. The urgency is of greater need. The prophetic voice of truth is needed more than ever. The moral degradation of our culture of death is becoming worse and more infectious. There is no moral objectivity. Everything is relative, based not on truth, but on feelings and popularity.

Who, if not each of us, will begin to break the chain that is pulling us down the pit of death? Who will be the prophets of today both in word and in action? Our world needs a healing. If we do not take a stand, our silence will be our judge.

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