The first reading today from Amos 2 has to do with crime and punishment. God lets it be known that acts of wickedness will not go unpunished. He issues a warning to those who profess to be part of the covenant and yet do evil in the sight of the Lord.
The Gospel reading today from Matthew 8 is all about the cost of being a disciple of Christ. Two disciples reveal their readiness to follow Christ. The first, a scribe, is told (and I paraphrase here), “You have to understand that the Son of Man is a homeless guy with no possessions. Are you ready to go there?” Jesus says something very interesting to the second. When he tells Jesus he wants to go and bury his father, Jesus tells him, “Follow me, and let the dead bury their dead.” Wait…what?
Burying the dead is a corporal work of mercy. Was Jesus really saying that His disciples should not bury the dead? Of course not. His point is that being a disciple of His must take precedent over every other aspect of our lives. Our first and foremost mission is to follow Jesus, wherever He wishes to lead us. Otherwise we will be spiritually dead. So our question for the day is this: Are we ready to follow Jesus WHEREVER He wishes to lead us? Or are we more intent on following our own path?
Father, give us a greater desire and strength and courage to follow Jesus wherever that road may take us. Amen.