Day 180: Giving Time to God

Amos 7:1-17 The five visions of Amos present a unified message: true conversion is the only way for Israel to be reconciled fully with God. Shrine offerings and worship were meaningless without a change of heart. (CCC 1435)

Ch 7:2-5 The special relationship between the true prophets of Israel and the Lord involved a dialogue of petition and response. The prophets drew strength and illumination from these dialogues as they transmitted the Word of God and interceded on behalf of the people of Israel. (CCC 2584)

Ch 8:1-14 The image of a basket of fruit carries apocalyptic overtones. Amos used a play on the Hebrew words for “summer fruit” and “the end”; the fruit basket, therefore, is a portent of the last days. The time for Israel’s repentance was running out. (CCC 1427, 2612)

Ch 8:4-10 Injustice against the poor is a sin of particular gravity in the eyes of God. Land confiscation, usury, unfair wages, and fraudulent deception of the needy are among the many sins that violate the Seventh Commandment (THOU SHALT NOT STEAL). SInce injustice toward the poor contributes to their physical harm and even death, those responsible are also in violation of the Fifth Commandment (THOU SHALL NOT KILL). Active concern and care for the poor must be motivated by the New Commandment to love our neighbor and to see Christ especially in the poor and suffering. (CCC 2269, 2409, 2449)

Ch 8:11 The necessity of preaching the Gospel to the entire world arises out of Christ’s final instructions to his Apostles and his desire to draw all of humanity to salvation and knowledge of the Gospel. The innate desire for happiness is an implicit clamor for union with God who alone can satisfy the yearnings of the human heart. (CCC 2835)

Ch 9:1-6 In the final vision, the Lord appeared and ordered Amos to destroy the altars, which likely referred to the desecrated shines at Gilgal and Bethel.

Ch 9:7-15 This final condemnation of Israel is followed immediately by a promise of restoration. In the midst of their repentance, Israel could look to the future with the hope of a restored and unified people. 

Psalm 124 This hymn of praise recognizes God’s deliverance and protection of his people as if from aggressive predators. This analogy extends to the power of prayer as a means to overcome temptation to sin and the deceptions of the Devil. St. Augustine developed this even more by teaching that the snares of evil and persecution here on earth should not be feared if we trust in God’s never-ending love for us. This confidence eventually leads to eternal life. (Cf. Pope Benedict XVI, General Audience, June 22, 2005) (CCC 287)

(*The Didache Bible RSV-CE Ignatius Edition, 2006)

Prayer by Fr. Mike: “Father in Heaven we give you praise. We thank you so much. Gosh, if it had not been you, if it had not been for you, the Psalmist David says in the Psalm of Ascent here, if it had not been for you then we would have died in our affliction. If it had not been for you, Lord God, we would have perished long ago, if it had not been for you and what you have done. But Lord God, you have helped us escape. You have helped us to this day and we ask you to continue. Continue to help us be yours this day and every day of our lives in Jesus’ name. Amen.”