This Week's Reflection

Oratory of Divine Love Reflection 483: Speak, Lord. Your Servant is Listening : Reflection on Amos 7:12-15

 

“To Amos, Amaziah said: “Off with you, seer, flee to the land of Judah and 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 am not a prophet, nor do I belong to a company of prophets. I am a herdsman and a dresser of sycamores, but the LORD took me from following the flock, and the LORD said to me, ‘Go, prophesy to my people Israel.’” -Amos 7:12-15

 

Do we respond to the Lord’s call? In this reading, the prophet Amos is accosted by Amaziah, a half pagan priest. I say half pagan, because he was NOT a Levitical priest. Amaziah is a priest appointed by King Jeroboam in the north. When the north of Israel broke with the southern Kingdom of Judah, Jeroboam basically began his own religion which mixed elements of Judaism with elements of paganism.

 

And so Amaziah, an invalid priest, tells Amos to leave Israel and go earn a living prophesying in Judah. And Amos answers him, “I was no prophet, nor did I belong 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.”

 

So Amos was telling Amaziah, “Look, I didn’t ask for this job. I had a career as a shepherd and a gardener. It was the Lord who called me to leave all that behind and come here to preach to you, and try to show you the error of your ways.”

 

How many of us are willing to do what Amos did, and answer the call of the Lord? The Holy Spirit calls to us all the time, to do things and to not do things. Do we listen? Or do we just go about our merry lives and shut the Spirit out? Have you ever been somewhere and gotten the feeling that you should talk to a particular person? It could be a complete stranger! Do you listen to that instinct? Or do you ignore it? What is that is the Lord speaking to your heart, “Hey, this person needs a friendly voice right now.”? Even just a friendly smile and a “Good morning!” can go a long with some people.

 

Every day, we should be praying, “Lord, train me to listen to your promptings.” “Teach me to listen to your voice.” Or if you want a REALLY easy prayer to remember; “Speak Lord, for your servant is listening.”

 

Why are so many people reluctant to pray these prayers? Because they are afraid that the Lord might do to them what he did to Amos- call them away from their nice comfortable niche, and do something crazy, like go evangelize people. Could happen. But don’t be afraid of that.

 

First of all, God is not going to ask you to do what you are not capable of doing. Second, you are capable of doing MORE than you give yourself credit for. Third, we are ALL called to the work of evangelization. Every single confirmed Catholic is an evangelist. But we’re all called to accomplish that end through a variety of different means because we all have been given different gifts.

 

Before I became a priest I was gifted in speaking, writing, and teaching. So the Lord turned me in a direction where those gifts could be used to evangelize others most effectively. It just happened to be the priesthood. What are your gifts? What are you good at? Because you can bet whatever that is, the Lord is calling you to use those gifts in some way that will touch souls, change hearts, and build up his Church. And you can be sure you will encounter an Amaziah or two who will try to discourage you and say, “Stop doing that!” Don’t let them discourage you. Work quietly for the Lord and carry on. -Fr. Michael Anthony Sisco

 

Quote from a Saint

“My Jesus, obedience works miracles; help me to do our Mother’s will.” - Servant of God Sr. Benigna Consolata Order of the Visitation of the B.V.M

 

Prayer

 

Most High, Glorious God, enlighten the darkness of my mind. Give me a right faith, a firm hope and a perfect charity, so that I may always and in all things act according to Your Holy Will. Amen. -St. Francis of Assisi

 

Questions for Reflection

 

  1. Do you want to hear the Holy Spirit’s instructions, or do you resist them?

  2. What do you think is the biggest obstacle to responding to the promptings of the Holy Spirit?

  3. What Amaziah’s have you encountered in your following of Christ? How did you respond?

  4. There were many false, hired prophets in the time of Amaziah. What characterizes a true vs. a false prophet?

  5. Why is it important for us to pray for the Lord to speak to us and guide us if He already wants to do this?

  6. How could praying for this every day help you in your spiritual life?

  7. What talents do you have that God has called upon you to use for His glory?

  8. Think of someone in your life or of a saint who has been an example of responding to the Holy Spirit.

  9. What is the difference between using your talents to glorify yourself and using your talents to touch souls?

  10. Our Lady is called “spouse of the Holy Spirit.” How is obedience to Our Lady also obedience to the Holy Spirit?

  11. What do you think of Sr. Benigna Consolata’s statement that “obedience works miracles”?

  12. How does Mary model a person responding to the promptings of the Holy Spirit?

 

-Erin Wells

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