Please read beyond these words today. The first reading, words from the prophet Amos are significant. Remember as you read: from the prophets and the apostles we learn what God wants of us; how we should live our lives. Amos
When I was a child, my parents would cringe whenever any of their children would say "I hate ... (this or that or, worst of all, another person." To this day I sense the same cringe when someone said "I hate ...." Even to hear "I hate vegetables" brings to mind that awareness of what I learned many years ago. So, today, as I read again the words in the Book of Amos, "I hate, I spurn your feasts, says the Lord." What could bring God, the creator of all that has, is and will be, to say those words to Amos?
Well do I recall my grandmother's teaching us that, if anything could be designated as hated, it could only be what was evil. She must have heard or read this part of the prophet's words: "hate evil and love good."
What is so evil that Yahweh would use the phrase "I hate ... your feasts"? Recall that in Old Testament times most feasts were occasioned by a religious event or an agricultural achievement determined to bring praise, gratitude or petition to the Lord. Yahweh could not accept all that was being offered to his name because the ones making the offerings did not have pure hearts. They were duplicitous. They prayer and celebrated with those "infamous" forked tongues. Somehow in the relationship formed with Yahweh, with people or with all of God's creation there was infidelity. What God "hated" was deceitful prayers and offerings.
What can we say about our times, about the lives each of us lives, especially if we are individuals who attend Mass regularly, offer prayers and at the same time are not faithful in our relationships with God, our families, ourselves, our neighbors and the earth entrusted to us by God? And whoever said that being a faithful follower of Jesus Christ would be easy? Remember Peter and Paul: how costly was their faithfulness!!