Amos 5:14-15, 21-24
In the Broadway Play, My Fair Lady, we have these words from Eliza Doolittle to Freddie,
"Sing me no song! Read me no rhyme!
Don’t waste my time, Show me!
Don’t talk of June, Don’t talk of fall!
Don’t talk at all! Show me!"
The young lady wanted more than mere words about love. She wanted some demonstration that made these words believable.
In today’s reading from the prophet Amos, God tells his people he wants more than mere words and external sacrifices. They are empty of meaning, indeed a lie, unless they are followed by actions of justice and goodness. God wants authentic worship or no worship at all.
These words challenge us to reflect on how well we live out what we do at Sunday Mass. At Mass we offer ourselves with Christ to the Father. We say "Amen," receiving Christ into our hearts and recommitting ourselves to be his followers. Then we are sent forth into the world
That means that, during the week, we are to seek good and not evil. That means we are to express compassion, show hospitality and forgive. That means we are to work for justice, show patience, wash the feet of others and serve. That means we are to hug the earth and all those who live on it.
In short, during the week, we are to think like Christ, speak like Christ, act like Christ, and love like Christ. Our focus is on doing the Father’s will, and into the Father’s hands we continually commend our spirit.
To live out the Mass means to let Christ enter our hearts and take over our lives. With his justice surging in us and his goodness flowing through us, our words and sacrifice on Sunday will be very authentic and very pleasing to the Father.
Fr. Alan Phillip, C.P. is a member of the Passionist Community at Mater Dolorosa Retreat Center, Sierra Madre, California. http://www.alanphillipcp.com/