According to Catholic Bible scholars, prophetic books typically have three over-arching themes. They are God’s passionate purpose, God’s severe punishment and God’s enduring promise. God’s prophetic message always ends in hope. And the book of the prophet Amos is a perfect reflection of this.
Most of the Amos’ prophecy tends to chide Israel for its sin of self-centered greed and prideful show while proclaiming God’s passion for "the least, the lost and the last." However, as he nears the end of his prophecy, Amos focuses on God’s everlasting and enduring promise to Israel. It is this passage filled with expectant hope that the Church shares with us in today’s liturgy.
This poetic passage tells us much about what Jesus will later say about the Kingdom of God. Amos states the House of David will be rebuilt; adversaries will be converted; wine will flow down mountainsides and humans will hunger no more. In essence, everything will be provided to everyone in abundance!
And so when the disciples of John approach Jesus with their questions about fasting, Jesus, who embodies the Kingdom and performs the works of the Kingdom, responds using the image of a marriage feast. Who would think of crying at a wedding reception while everyone (including the groom) is still celebrating? Jesus the bridegroom is among them and he is celebrating something wonderful and new. It is the inauguration of the Kingdom where everyone, no matter how least or lost or last will taste of God’s loving abundance. However Jesus also makes clear that where he is not, where his presence is barred or his work distorted; nothing new can come.
How am I an instrument of making God’s loving abundance real today? Where in my life, my relationships, my work do I bar Jesus’ presence so that nothing new may come?
Does my faith life reflect God’s enduring promise and expectant hope?