June 30, 2016
My dearest brothers and sisters,
In today’s first reading, it is written—
“I am no prophet, nor a prophet’s son; but I am a herdsman, and a dresser of sycamore trees, and the Lord took me from following the flock, and the Lord said to me, ‘Go, prophesy to my people Israel.’” (Amos 7:14-15)
It’s as if Amos, in this disposition, foretells the dispositions of the first Christians: of our Lady, who could not have possibly predicted the way God, previously veiled in his temple, would reveal his face to her by giving her a son—and then of the disciples, who never anticipated that the Son of God fully grown, bearded, with hands worked in carpentry, would show up alongside them fishing and say, Come, follow me.
I think the heart of the message, the heart of the Gospels, is the same: You cannot know what God has for you, for your life, until you permit him to call your name.
He might say—Go, prophesy to my people Israel. Or, Go, love your children deeply. Or, Go, and show my face to the solitary, bald man who works all day behind his desk. Or, Go, and take your cooking to the soup kitchen, to feed me hungry in those who come. Or, Go, and lay out your essay to precision, for in your effort I find my glory. Or, Go, and give me your life in the martyrdom of blood. Or, Go, and give me the white martyrdom of your migraines, your cancer, your insulin resistance—those things by which your body throbs. Go, go, go—and live your life in accord to what I give you, for I give you the flock to which you tend, and from this flock I will call you.
Who are we, here, in this place, but composites, body and soul, on a pilgrimage to our true home in the heart of God? Who are we, but pilgrims who try to stuff our loneliness into memory and our thirst, our hunger, for love into worldly routines? Who are we, but lost little souls looking to find our Father and rest our palms in his? Come, he says, and in me I will give you rest.