Friday, September 23, 2016

The Josephs

Lectio:  Amos 6:1a, 4-7
Thus says the Lord, the God of hosts:
Woe to the complacent in Zion!
by MEK
Lying upon beds of ivory,
   stretched comfortably on their couches,
they eat lambs taken from the flock,
   and calves from the stall!
Improvising to the music of the harp,
   like David, they devise their own accompaniment.
They drink wine from bowls
   and anoint themselves with the best oils;
   yet they are not made ill by the collapse of Joseph!
Therefore, now they shall be the first to go into exile,
   and their wanton revelry shall be done away with.

These verses condemn the over-indulgenced Israel. The splendor was over the top obscene.  Woe to the complacent in Zion portrays their leaders as only interested in themselves. They considered that they should be serving their people, not lording it over them.  These degenerate leaders did not see the Josephs. ( Joseph was sold into slavery by his brothers.)  These leaders were not made ill by the collapse of Joseph.  The Josephs among their people were not given a thought. And so their punishment will be the "first" to go into exile, just as they put themselves "first."

The prophet Amos anticipates destruction as the result of the leaders' indifference to the "Josephs."  The rich are getting richer and the poor, poorer.  Amos understands that the leaders' prayers and sacrifices don't substitute for sharing their abundant resources with the needy.  God cares about injustice and these leaders have chosen their fate.

Lord, grant me eyes to see the "Josephs" and the means to help them.  May I have the wisdom to know how to serve others best.  Lord, help me to be like You.

Son of God, have mercy on us. Help us to be like You.

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