HOMILY FOR THE 15TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME, YEAR B
Mk 6: 7-13
THEME: SENT TO PROCLAIM
Beloved in Christ, this morning mother church is inviting us to reflect on the ministry of Amos and the Apostles with an eye for the challenges they encountered. This is to encourage us that no matter the challenges we encounter on account of the Christian faith we cannot run away from it. For proclaiming the word of God is our Christian obligation. We are called not to decorate or invent but to proclaim it.
Beloved, this proclamation is to draw people to Christ through repentance just as Jesus himself did. However, this preaching or proclamation will make us unpopular for it will offend some people; we are not called to be popular but to be faithful. Therefore we are to preach on sin and repentance no matter how unpopular it will make us, for the TRUTH does not need the language of diplomacy to exist.
Beloved in Christ, this is the background or the environment in which Amos the prophet worked. Though a time of great prosperity in Israel it was accompanied by a life of falling social and religious standard which was characterised by widespread corruption. Amos the prophet however did not get on well with the people of Israel because he condemned them.
Beloved, in our world today most people want to be told they are good and not to be reminded that they are sinners, hence Amos and his kind will always be rejected. We easily avoid friends who always want to talk us out of sin and evil and some even go to the extent of labelling these good friends as hypocrite and old school. In this regard Israel rejected Amos not because he was bad but because of his message.
Beloved , Jesus in the gospel also made allusions to the fact that some people will reject the Apostles on account of their message however He encouraged them not to give up by sending them out in pairs to proclaim the message of salvation. And in the words of St. Gregory the Great, Jesus sent the Apostles out in pairs to affirm that there are two commandments : love of God and love of neighbour, indicating that the person without love for another must absolutely not take the ministry of preaching. Also this is to ensure accountability, encouragement and support for the disciples. And they are to proclaim the message by their speech (Mk 6:12) and action (Mk 6:13).
Beloved, Paul in the second reading also reminds us that God has chosen us for blessings otherwise found in heaven for two reasons : he wants us to be holy ( set apart, to be different from others ) and blameless ( without fault, to be worthy of Him).Thus we have an obligation to live a holy and blameless life as Christians. Hence to be effective ambassadors of Christ we need to confront the ills of our society by living a holy and blameless Christian life.