Amos 8:4-6, 9-12
“To be sustained on the word of God alone.”
In the book of Amos, we witness God’s decree for justice and his heartbroken anger at the injustice prevalent in his chosen people’s ways. I know within myself when I do injustice because I am trying to sustain myself by my own will. Out of an illusion of lack and thinking God has not sustained all, I might be tempted to lie, hurt, or push down others to make myself feel better. I might be prompt to greed or buying lots of things out of blindness that it helps me feel more secure. It seems like the Israelites are much further down this path of corruption.
The response for the Psalm reflects a different mindset, to be totally sustained on the word of God. When I do justice, When I am most encouraged to love those around me, it is because I know how loved and taken care of by God I am. Maybe why Jesus so much prefers the poor, sick and sinners is because they truly only have the Word of God to sustain them. Because they are so poor, it means they have more capacity to accept God’s love, and they will reflect the psalmist’s words in seeking God with all of their heart.
For your own life, where do you try to self-sustain? When you find yourself in sin, ask, what am I trying to receive that hasn’t already been given to me by God? Let yourself be sustained by the word of God alone.
Claire O’D is a current Oxley Passionist Youth Retreat Team member. While also in her final year of university, she is completing her bachelor’s degree with a major in visual art and theology.