Summer fills our senses with sights, smells and sounds that are particular to the season. We hear many sounds, but we really listen only to some, to those that mean something to us. Today’s readings focus our attention on listening—on paying attention to the ways God speaks in our lives—and acting on what we hear.
In the first reading Amaziah the priest has heard the words of the prophet Amos and has complained to the king about him. They are not in agreement with what Amos is saying and do not want to listen. Instead, Amos is told to leave and never return. They are unwilling to be touched by the prophet’s words and unwilling to make any changes in their comfortable lives.
In the gospel Jesus tells the disciples to give no time or attention to those who refuse to listen to their message. The gospel preached by Jesus’ followers was not always easy to accept; it would not be unusual for listeners to reject it, to be unwilling to live as the gospel demands.
God speaks in many ways: in our lives, in the words of Scripture, in liturgy. Today’s readings remind us of the importance of listening to God’s voice in all the ways it comes to us, taking the time and having the openness to be touched and challenged to live the gospel every day.