26th Sunday in Ordinary Time

 

Boy, O Boy, the Prophet Amos is filled with fire and brimstone this weekend!  “Woe to the complacent in Zion!”  (Am. 6:1) I have never liked the word “WOE!”  It is scary.  In the context in which the Prophet Amos uses it, the fear factor is extreme.  But the second word that brings the “woe” to light is the fact that it is used for a particular people, those in Zion and more precisely those in Zion who have become complacent!  The Oxford American Dictionary defines complacent as “too satisfied with yourself or with a situation, so that you do not feel that any change is necessary; showing or feeling.”  I started thinking about that definition.  You know, sometimes we think that we have it all figured out; we become smug and feel we have no reason to change.  Listening to Pope Francis these last couple of weeks, we should all have stopped dead in our tracks.  This is exactly what he is warning us about as he seeks to refocus our attention on Christ.  Do we find ourselves judging others harshly because we might think ourselves perfect?  Do we compare ourselves, our goods and possessions and think ourselves superior to others because we might drive a newer or fancier car than someone else?  We certainly do live in a materialistic society that loves “things” but we mustn’t place things before loving God and loving our neighbor.  Let’s just hope that we can catch ourselves in time so that we don’t hear: Woe to those who are complacent in Dartmouth or New Bedford or Westport!!!

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