SEEK GOOD AND AVOID EVIL            Amos 5.14-15, 21-24

The prophet Amos is often depicted as the “doom and gloom” prophet. He was a simple peasant farmer who was chosen by God to preach mainly the people of the Northern Kingdom. Around about the time of Amos (8 BC), Israel had become quite comfortable, living a life of luxury and enjoying political stability. This was of course to change when Amos comes to town. The threat of neighboring Assyria was close and his prophetic insight sought to bring this to the attention of the people.

The first reading gives us an account of social justice that Amos sought to bring to the people. He proclaims to the people that they must seek good and avoid evil. Their idolatry, immorality and corruption were the downfall of the relationship with God. They forgot the God who redeemed them and who had helped them come to the place of peace and happiness they were now at present experiencing. They have indeed broken the commandments of God and the LORD seeks to win them back to his heart and love.

God wants to remind them that He is the source of their security and comfort. To “seek good” is to seek God who is all good and the source of all goodness. As we seek God who is good we are able to live – God shares with us his life and love. God is creator of all things. God seeks from his people a sense of justice since they have been dwelling in unfaithfulness. He challenges the life in regards to their worship, which is contradictory to their way of life, seemingly lip service at its best. Human life can only flourish where righteousness and justice prevails.

God has given us all the Holy Spirit – the Spirit of truth. The Holy Spirit convicts us of our sin. The voices of our conscience speaks loud and clear – to do good and avoid what is evil. It is in our conscience where the voice of God echoes. The Church teaches us, “…conscience is man’s most secret core and his sanctuary. There he is alone with God whose voice echoes in his depths” (Guadium et Spes 16). Of course conscience needs to be informed and developed so as to better hear the voice of God. This “natural Law” has been placed within us by God to always act in ways that are good and true. We have been created in the image and likeness of God. Since God is the author of life what great dignity we have as human beings. What great respect we must shown then to each other since we are all children of God, brothers and sisters in Jesus.

What are the ways in which I can seek to do good to my neighbor today? What act of love can I show to those around me? What will I do to avoid evil, the evil of gossip, slander, judgment, immorality, idolatry, the evil of sin?

God our Creator and Redeemer, you are all good and all that you have made is good. Teach me to live according to your goodness. May I respect those whom I meet and always remember the great dignity I have in being your son/daughter.