15th Sunday in Ordinary Time B
July 12, 2015


Amos is an interesting figure. He was an ordinary laborer, equivalent to a daily wage earner of our times. He was, by any standard, poor. That means no insurance, no savings, no big house, no household appliances to boast of … no nothing.

He was not taken seriously by anyone. No … definitely not the powers-that-be who had better things to do than listen to a worthless lout. Definitely, he was most unwelcome, if Amaziah the priest of Bethel was to be followed. Amaziah, who probably thought that Amos was getting a little too preachy about certain things, told him to go and do his preaching elsewhere. “Off with you, visionary, flee to the land of Judah. There earn your bread by prophesying.” NIMOB … not in my own backyard!

Mind you, there was not even the word “please” to soften the rude command!

But Amos would not be bullied. He knew who he was and what he stood for. He entertained no thoughts of marvels beyond him, nor powers he did not have. “I was no prophet … I was a shepherd and a dresser of sycamores.”

Ako’y isang hamak na pastol lamang … isang simpleng tagapangalaga lamang ng puno …

But Amos knew who he was and what God wanted him to be. In the end, we believers ought to know our rightful place. We are just called. We are just sent. We are just messengers of the One who, alone has the right to make of us what He wants.

Lowly shepherd or humble keeper of sycamores, Amos was raised, called, and sent to preach in God’s name, not in his own name.

And that, my dear reader, is what you call humble obedience!


The twelve must have initially thought of better ideas. After all, they were following a rumored deliverer and liberator. It must have felt real good to follow a rock star. Jesus was the man to root for. Everyone was longing to see more, hear more, and get more from him … especially the sick, the lame, the poor, the widows and orphans.

At this point, the twelve must have started to get the drift of their Master. He was obviously not getting nuclear weapons and supersonic fighter jets anytime soon.

He was busy in the business of saving and delivering – the poor, the outcasts, the downtrodden, the sick, those tortured by demons and unclean spirits.

He was not posting facebook statuses that said “Off to Boracay or Balesin for some R&R and socializing with the oligarchs.”

No … with or without followers and fans, he was engaged in his Father’s business.

And now, he calls twelve associates, close-in partners, and committed collaborators. Oh no! He is giving away no free passes to Disney or free tickets to a Mediterranean cruise!

Oh no … nothing of the kind! He even told them to travel light (read: bring nothing!). Just hold on to your good, old reliable sandals! No Puma, no swoosh or check marks, no Adi dazzlers, no Benetton inspired apparel …

They were not being sent for an excursion, but for a mission … not to the comfortable, but to those who were not and could not afford to.

The Savior par excellence was on a roll. And you and me, are now called to do just as he did.

No ifs, no buts. No Bally shoes, no Gucci bags.

Nothing fancy here … just plain you and me, minus all the trappings that smack of wealth, comfort, and misplaced confidence on material resources.

We are summoned and sent … armed with blessings of a different kind … “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavens!”