A Chilling Prophesy

The ascent of der Nockspitzer on Saturday gave me a lot of time to think - climbing along relatively narrow paths does not make for easy conversation.

On Friday, the first reading concluded with a chilling line from the Prophet Amos. The fate of those who trample upon the poor and ignore the plight of the needy:
Yes, days are coming, says the Lord GOD,
when I will send famine upon the land:
Not a famine of bread, or thirst for water,
but for hearing the word of the LORD.
Then shall they wander from sea to sea
and rove from the north to the east
In search of the word of the LORD,
but they shall not find it.
I cannot help but to wonder if today we, as a society, are dwelling amidst this ancient prophesy.

Prophets are frequently misunderstood because we think they tell the future. In the Scriptures, the prophet has a two-fold function: Critiquing the current order for having fallen away from being God's people and Re-Imagining the current order and prompting women and men to get back into line with the covenant.

How many of us go through our daily lives feeling an ache, a deep yearning, and long for it to be filled? How many hours do we fill with idle distractions, wandering the internet for a 'quick fix' or something to occupy our wandering minds. How many of us are looking for a word from God, an assurance that our lives have meaning, a sense of encouragement as we make our way on our human pilgrimage? Our ears strain, our eyes search...yet so frequently we find nothing. For so many of us, we are etched with a sense of ennui or world-weariness.

What struck me about the reading is that our human priorities so often are the opposite of God's. If you want to find God, you needn't roam the world over to find a font of deep wisdom or a text to change your life. Open your eyes and see the living encouragement, the living wisdom, right in front of you: the poor, the oppressed, the needy. See them as God has seen you, a sister and brother who deserves recognition and love.

So many of us are caught up in the self-help culture, as though a book is going to solve all of our problems. Perhaps we could create a counter-culture, a Help-to-be-a-Self culture, where our generosity toward those who need us most is what defines each of us as a Self.


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