13th Week in the Ordinary Time
1st Reading: Am 7:10-17
Amaziah, the priest of Bethel, sent word to Jeroboam, king of Israel: “Amos has conspired against you here within Israel; the country cannot endure all his words. For this is what Amos says: Jeroboam shall die by the sword, and Israel shall surely be exiled from its land.” To Amos, Amaziah said: “Off with you, visionary, flee to the land of Judah! There earn your bread by prophesying, but never again prophesy in Bethel; for it is the king’s sanctuary and a royal temple.” Amos answered Amaziah, “I was no prophet, nor have I belonged to a company of prophets; I was a shepherd and a dresser of sycamores. The LORD took me from following the flock, and said to me, ‘Go, prophesy to my people Israel.’ Now hear the word of the LORD!” You say: prophesy not against Israel, preach not against the house of Isaac. Now thus says the LORD: Your wife shall be made a harlot in the city, and your sons and daughters shall fall by the sword; Your land shall be divided by measuring line, and you yourself shall die in an unclean land; Israel shall be exiled far from its land.
Gospel: Mt 9:1-8
After entering a boat, Jesus made the crossing, and came into his own town. And there people brought to him a paralytic lying on a stretcher. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Courage, child, your sins are forgiven.” At that, some of the scribes said to themselves, “This man is blaspheming.” Jesus knew what they were thinking, and said, “Why do you harbor evil thoughts? Which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”– he then said to the paralytic, “Rise, pick up your stretcher, and go home.” He rose and went home. When the crowds saw this, they were struck with awe and glorified God who had given such authority to men.
THEY WERE STRUCK WITH AWE: Awe is an emotional response to the sense of the sacred. It is a reaction that spontaneously occurs when one perceives the presence of something beyond the ordinary. When the Hebrew Scriptures say, “Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” (Prov 9:10; Ps 111:10, also Dt 10:12), they also imply the response of awe – the sense of the sacred. It is interesting to note that in the gospels, often the rejection of Jesus by the leaders of the Jews is accompanied by the sense of wonder, awe, or amazement on the part of the common people and the disciples. People are struck with awe at his teaching (Mt 7:28) and at his miracles (Mk 6:51). Often, wonder and awe are the beginning of discipleship. Do I allow myself to be taken over by a sense of awe in the presence of God in Jesus?
Prayer. Lord, grant me the gift of awe and wonder that I do not take for granted your presence in my life.