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Friday of the Thirteenth Week in Ordinary Time
Amos 8L4-6, 9-12
Psalm 119:2, 10, 30, 40, 131
Matthew 9:9-13
Weights and measures? Fixing and cheating? Mourning and lamenta-
tions? How is any of this relevant to us? Why were these readings
Such questions may obscure the actual challenge the readings pose
to us. Are we humble enough to make the Word of God primary in
our lives? Are we prepared to answer His call?
The prophet Amos, a simple shepherd, warned the northern kingdom
of Israel (and the Kingdom of Judah) how far they had strayed from
the word of God received in the Sinai. The economic prosperity the
Israelites enjoyed from their commerce with other nations had em-
boldened them to take advantage of these peoples. Some Israelites
comforted their consciences with token observance of the Mosaic
law, assuming that their covenant distinguished them from the people
they exploited. Perversely, other Israelites thought the Hebrew rituals
should incorporate some ˈimprovementsˉ from these people˅s prac-
tices and beliefs. Do we mechanically participate in our faith? Just
as mistakenly, do we think our faith would ˈimproveˉ if it could just
change it to our liking?
Confronted with the example of the ancient Israelites, the responsorial
psalm stirs us to ask ourselves: Do we accept the Word of God as
our Bread of Life? Will we seek Him with all our hearts? Will we long