The First Reading shows how Amaziah, the priest of Bethel told Amos to go back to Judah because Amos said Jeroboam will die and Israel will be exiled. Amos replied: I am no prophet, nor a prophet’s son; but I am a herdsman, a dresser of sycamore trees, and the Lord took me from following the flock, and the Lord said to me, “Go, prophesy to my people Israel.” Amos admitted he did not want to be the bearer of bad news for Israel. He is not qualified and in fact, he is a farmer, who is not a prophet nor was his father a prophet. What he knows is God tells him to do something and he obeys without hesitation. God often calls the unqualified to do what he wants. He is not looking for qualified people. He is looking for obedient people. The only qualification to be a servant of God is obedience.
Amos did not consider his lack of qualification a problem, because he trusts God to give him what he needs to fulfill what has to be done. The message Amos gives is not good news. In fact it predicts the death of the king of Israel and the destruction of the kingdom. As expected, this did not hold well with the priest of Bethel who told Amos to leave. But instead of apologizing and backing down, Amos prophesied against the priest.
Very often, when God tells us to do something, it is most often a thankless task because people will not like what God wants to do. When God acts, he disrupts the comfortable and when these times come, we are not to back down. We are to hold our ground and speak only what God wants us to say. Nothing more and nothing less. Amos proves to us that God calls us just as we are. We do not have to do anything outside of what we have or of who we are. We just need to obey. This is why the Psalm tells us The fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever. The fear of the Lord is not being afraid. It is trusting the Lord, surrendering ourselves to him, believing he will equip us even if we are not qualified to do what he wants.
The paralyzed man in today’s Gospel shows this. Jesus did not tell him to do something before he healed the man. Jesus did not tell the man to get something. Instead, Jesus told him Stand up, take your bed and go to your home. The man could not walk but Jesus tells him to stand up. We are able to do things, not because of our plans or our skills. We are able to do things because Jesus says so and we obey him in trust. The lame man walked because he obeyed Jesus. When God calls us to do something, we obey. There is no time to hesitate. Instead, we take what we have and we do what God wants.
Is God calling you to do something for him? Do you think you are not qualified? Do not be afraid because as Amos and the paralytic in the Gospel shows us, our lack of skill or inability to do something should not hinder us from obeying God. The God who created the heavens and the earth did so with one Word. He can do what he wants through us with one word, we just need to obey because nothing is impossible with God!
If you think God is calling you to do something that seems impossible. Talk to your Spiritual Directory and if both of you discern this is God’s call to you, then you need to obey. Do not be afraid because it is only through obedience that we can see the power of God.
Lord, what are you calling me to do? I may be afraid because I feel inadequate. But then, reality does not depend on what I feel or what I see. It depends on what you say. If you command so, it shall be so. Send me your Holy Spirit, so I may have the courage to go beyond my fear and doubt and obey you. Jesus, I trust in you.