If we listen carefully to these readings, they are very challenging to us, especially when we live in a culture that so holds up riches as the goal of our life very often. But it’s really, in a way, quite unusual how these Scriptures are so timely because of what is happening in our world at this very moment. We live in a period of time in our country where what Amos was picturing in that first lesson seems literally true.
See, Amos confronted a situation where there were a few people who lived in just extreme luxury. When you listen carefully to his description, it brings it out: “You lie on beds inlaid with ivory; straw on your couches. You eat lamb from the flock and veal from calves.” See, they don’t even wait for the lamb to grow up. They eat the lamb before it can reproduce and the calves because they have so much; they don’t care.
“You strum on your hearts and, like David, try out new musical instruments. You drink wine by the bowlful; that seems incredible.” Now he’s just trying to say that everything is to excess, and in our country, remember, a couple of years ago, we had the Occupy Wall Street. Why? Because so few have so much. The gap is constantly increasing in this country but also throughout the world….