First reading Amos 2:6-10,13-16

Because of your crimes I will crush you into the ground

The Lord says this:
 
For the three crimes, the four crimes, of Israel
I have made my decree and will not relent:
because they have sold the virtuous man for silver
and the poor man for a pair of sandals,
because they trample on the heads of ordinary people
and push the poor out of their path,
because father and son have both resorted to the same girl,
profaning my holy name,
because they stretch themselves out by the side of every altar
on clothes acquired as pledges,
and drink the wine of the people they have fined
in the house of their god…
Yet it was I who overthrew the Amorites when they attacked,
men tall as cedars and strong as oaks,
I who destroyed them,
both fruit above ground
and root below.
It was I who brought you out of the land of Egypt
and for forty years led you through the wilderness
to take possession of the Amorite’s country.
 
See then how I am going to crush you into the ground
as the threshing-sledge crushes when clogged by straw;
flight will not save even the swift,
the strong man will find his strength useless,
the mighty man will be powerless to save himself.
The bowman will not stand his ground,
the fast runner will not escape,
the horseman will not save himself,
the bravest warriors will run away naked that day.
It is the Lord who speaks.
 
 

Responsorial Psalm 49(50):16-23

Mark this, you who never think of God.
 
‘How can you recite my commandments
  and take my covenant on your lips,
you who despise my law
  and throw my words to the winds?
 
‘You who see a thief and go with him;
  who throw in your lot with adulterers,
who unbridle your mouth for evil
  and whose tongue is plotting crime.
 
‘You who sit and malign your brother
  and slander your own mother’s son.
You do this, and should I keep silence?
  Do you think that I am like you?
 
‘Mark this, you who never think of God,
  lest I seize you and you cannot escape;
a sacrifice of thanksgiving honours me
  and I will show God’s salvation to the upright.’
 
 

Gospel Matthew 8:18-22

The Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head

When Jesus saw the great crowds all about him he gave orders to leave for the other side. One of the scribes then came up and said to him, ‘Master, I will follow you wherever you go.’ Jesus replied, ‘Foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.’
  Another man, one of his disciples, said to him, ‘Sir, let me go and bury my father first.’ But Jesus replied, ‘Follow me, and leave the dead to bury their dead.’
 
 
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Follow me

In today’s gospel, a scribe, in a moment of enthusiasm, went to Jesus
and told Him that he wanted to go wherever He went. However, Jesus
presented him with the harsh reality that to follow Him implied having no
security. It is not enough to follow Jesus based on our feeling “high”.
Such feelings come and go and will not sustain us in our following of
Jesus, especially when we face the challenges of dying to ourselves and
carrying our crosses. Thus, we need to be in a daily relationship with
Jesus and depend on His strength to uphold us to so that we can follow
Him faithfully each day.
 
Another person requested to follow Jesus but wanted first to go and bury
his father. It was most likely that the father was not dead yet. He wanted
to wait until his father died, and only then would he follow Jesus. Like
this person, we tend to wait for the ideal moment to respond to Jesus
call for us to act and do something. He wants us to understand that there
is no perfect time to follow Him, except today, at this present moment.
 
 
Question for reflection:
Am I willing to follow Jesus faithfully today?
 
 
Acknowledgment: Reflections are based on “Prayer for Living: The Word of God for Daily Prayer Year C” by Sr Sandra Seow FMVD.