Homily Fifteenth Sunday Year B Called, chosen, sent

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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 Kingdom of David was divided into two, the Northern kingdom and the Kingdom of Judea. Amos was called by God to go to the Northern Kingdom and prophesy, to speak the word of God to them. His message is the message of most of the Old Testament prophets: a call to repent, to return to the God of their fathers, to forsake their foreign gods and immoral ways. With the call came the consequences for not responding. If they did not God would wreck disaster upon them at the hands of their enemies.

 

Amazial was a priest of the Northern Kingdom, who spoke the feelings of the religious leadership of his day. He rejected Amos and his message. Amos stood firm for he knew that his message was from God and not man.

 

Each of us is a prophet by virtue of our baptismal and conformational commitment.  In baptism we were sealed with the oil of chrism with the words that we share in the ministry of Jesus as priest, prophet and king. In confirmation we were told we were to be witnesses for Jesus Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit. Are we aware of our call to be a prophet of Jesus Christ by our words and actions? Do we allow the Amazial’s of the world stop us from fulfilling our call?

 

Gospel: What Jesus did for the Apostles, he does for us. First of all, he chose and formed them to be his disciples. They observed his teaching and the signs and wonders he performed. Then he empowered them to do what he did, to bring the message of truth to others, to deliver and heal in his name. He reminded them of the urgency of the times. They were to depend upon God for everything. Then he sent them out. In trust, they went two by two and did what Jesus told them to do. They saw the power of God in the lives of those who heard their message and opened themselves to the power of God.

 

The twelve serve as models for us. This is not meant to be a story of the past but a message lived and experienced today. We are his disciples, apostles and 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 and personal interpretation.

 

A number of years ago, some leaders of the media world issued a statement. They were committed to change and set the moral tone of the American society. They have. Pornography is a moral epidemic; abuse of children, trafficking of women, abortion, now same sex unions legally recognized, cohabitation.  Who, if not each of us, will begin to break the chain that is pulling us down into the pit of eternal death? Who will be the prophet of today saying enough? Our world needs a healing. If we do not take a stand, if we do not speak and live the truth, then our silence will be our judge.

 

Reading 2: This reading gives us the foundation of our prophetic calling. First of all, we have been blessed by God with every spiritual blessing. 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 own divine life so that we can be with him forever in glory.

 

But we sinned and deserved the wrath of God. Instead, he showed us mercy, redeeming us by the blood of Jesus, forgiving our sins. Our purpose of life is to exist for the praise of his glory. For this reason, he has poured out his Spirit upon us, so that we may be able to fulfill our call as priest, prophet and king. We are called not to live for ourselves but to reach out to others. We are called to help others to see what God has planned for us and them.

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