Tuesday of the Thirteenth Week in Ordinary Time
(Amos 3:1-8.4:11-12; Matthew 8:23-27)
Suffering is a mystery. It hurts, but it can be good for us. If this were not true, then our all-loving God would not send it our way. The better we understand suffering, the less trouble it causes us. In today’s first reading, the prophet Amos prepares the nation of Israel for suffering.
The people have offended the Lord by worshipping other gods and neglecting the poor. Now they will be chastened for their sins. The prophet uses interesting images to show that God is behind all the ordeals they will undergo. He says that just as two men agree to walk together, God has consented that evil befall Israel. Again, just as a lion roars when it has found its prey, God is telling Israel through Amos himself that Israel is about to be devoured.
We have to accept suffering in a similar vein when it comes our way. Ours sins may not be as grievous as Israel’s, but they do exist. When we accept suffering as a corrective of our errant behavior, we are not being naïve or Pollyannaish. We are accepting the Lord at His word. He loves us and wants us to be rendered holy as He is holy.