The Lord called Amos, a shepherd who lived in Judah, to speak to the people of Damascus, Philistia, Tyre and Edom. Amos used the words of a shepherd that he knew the people would understand. He only hoped they would listen.
“The Lord will roar from Zion,” he said, “and from Jerusalem raise his voice: The pastures of the shepherds will languish, and the summit of Carmel wither.”
Sometimes Amos would hear the words of God he was to repeat, other times he would see visions. He saw a swarm of locusts that devoured the crops before they were harvested. Amos pleaded with God on behalf of Israel “Forgive, O Lord God! How can Jacob stand? He is so small!”
The Lord heard Amos’ prayer and changed his mind. “It shall not be,” he said. Then Amos saw fire. Smoke filled the air and flames burned the ground. Again Amos pleaded with God. “Cease, O Lord God! How can Jacob stand? He is so small!”
Again the Lord heard Amos’ prayer. “This also shall not be,” he said. The third time Amos saw the Lord God standing by a wall with a plummet in his hand, with which to make measurement. “What do you see, Amos?,” the Lord asked. “A plummet,” Amos replied.
The Lord held the plummet out for Amos to see and said, “See, I will lay the plummet in the midst of my people Israel; I will forgive them no longer. The high places of Isaac shall be laid waste, and the sanctuaries of Israel made desolate; I will attack the house of Jeroboam with the sword.”
Amos repeated this prophecy wherever he went, and eventually it reached Amaziah, one of the priests who served King Jeroboam. “Amos has conspired against you here within Israel,” he told the king, “the country cannot endure all his words.”
Then Amaziah went to speak to Amos. “Off with you, visionary,” he commanded, “flee to the land of Judah! There earn your bread by prophesying, but never again prophesy in Bethel; for it is the king’s sanctuary and a royal temple.”
Amos replied, “I was no prophet, nor have I belonged to a company of prophets; I was a shepherd and a dresser of sycamores. The Lord took me from following my flock, and said to me, ‘Go, prophesy to my people Israel.’”
READ MORE ABOUT IT:
Amos 1, 7
1. What did God say about King Jeroboam?
2. What did Amos do before he became a prophet?
In the Book of Matthew, Jesus taught the disciples the Lord’s Prayer as one example of how to pray.
The church has other prayers to help us, such as the Gloria, prayers of contrition and prayers for the sick.
God wants us to tell him about our fears, our hopes and our needs. We should show our love for him when we pray, and we should be thankful for everything he has done for us.
Prayer is an important part of every Mass, and we should make it an important part of every day.
Withburga was the youngest of several sisters who devoted their lives to the service of the Lord. She spent many years in prayer and solitude near the coastal village of Norfolk in England.
She started to build a church and a community of religious maidens, but died before her work was completed.
She was buried in a church cemetery. Fifty years later, her body had not decayed, and her remains were buried in a new churchyard. An underground stream flowed from the site of her original burial place, and it was named Withburga’s Well.
She died in 743, and we remember her on July 8.