Amos was a shepherd in Israel during the time when Jereboam was king. God spoke to Amos in a series of visions and told him what to tell the people of Israel. “The Lord will roar from Zion,” God told him, “and from Jerusalem raise his voice.” God gave Amos words to speak against the sins of Aram, Philistia, Tyre, Judah and other countries, including Israel.
“Hear this word, O men of Israel,” Amos proclaimed, “that the Lord pronounces over you, over the whole family that I brought up from the land of Egypt: You alone have I favored, more than all the families of the earth; therefore I will punish you for all your crimes.”
Three of the prophecies of Amos were so dreadful that they have been remembered by generations of the descendants of Israel and the other nations as the three woes. The first was, “Woe to those who turn judgment to wormwood and cast justice to the ground. … And in every vineyard there shall be lamentation when I pass through your midst, says the Lord.” The second was, “Woe to those who yearn for the day of the Lord! What will this day of the Lord mean for you? Darkness and not light!” And the third was, “Woe to the complacent in Zion, to the overconfident on the mount of Samaria. … Beware, I am raising against you, O house of Israel, say I, the Lord, the God of hosts.”
Some of the things that God showed Amos in the visions were so frightful that Amos pleaded with the Lord not to do them. When Amos saw a swarm of locusts devouring the harvest, he said, “Forgive, O Lord God! How can Jacob stand? He is so small!” And the Lord promised not to send the locusts. When Amos saw a great fire destroying everything on the ground, he pleaded, “Cease, O Lord God! How can Jacob stand? He is so small!” And the lord promised not to send the fire.
Then the Lord said to Amos, “I will forgive them no longer. The high places of Isaac shall be laid waste. … I will attack the house of Jereboam.” Amaziah, a priest who served King Jereboam, was angry at the words of Amos. He said to the prophet, “Off with you, visionary, flee to the land of Judah!”
Amos replied, “The Lord took me from following the flock, and said to me, ‘Go prophesy to my people Israel.”
READ MORE ABOUT IT:
The Book of Amos
1. What was Amos’ occupation before God called him to be a prophet?
2. What did Amaziah tell Amos to do?
Although Amos is considered one of the minor (or less important) prophets, his book has been recognized by Jews, Catholics and Protestants.
Amos preached more than 750 years before the birth of Jesus in the land of Judah. One of the main messages of the Book of Amos is that the people of Israel had considered their wealth and possessions more important than God. Amos was sent by God to tell Israel that he was going to punish it for its sins. As in many prophecies, God promises forgiveness along with his warnings, and God promised to rebuild Israel, which only proves how much God loves them, and how much he loves us, too.
Camillus De Lellis (1550-1614) was a very tall and powerful man, yet he had a painful leg problem that made him lame for most of his adult life. In 1571, Camillus entered a hospital in Rome, Italy, for patients with incurable illnesses. After nine months there, he was told to leave the hospital because of his argumentative personality.
He then became a soldier in the war against the Turks. Camillus was also a compulsive gambler, and he lost his money and even his weapons. Now in total poverty, he swore to change his life, so he worked for the Franciscans as a laborer. He wanted to join the Capuchins, but was refused because of the disease in his leg.
He returned to the hospital that had thrown him out, where he became a devoted servant of the patients. Camillus formed a group of like-minded workers called the Ministers of the Sick. Eventually he was ordained a priest, and Pope Leo XIII declared him to be the patron of the sick.
We honor him on July 14.