The Most Beautiful Sound in the World

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By Marc Massery (Jul 13, 2018)
To view the readings for this weekend, click here

Sunday, July 15— Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
• Am 7:12-15
• Ps 85:9-10, 11-12, 13-14
• Eph 1:3-14 OR 1:3-10
• Mk 6:7-13


Few sounds disturb us like nails scraping on a chalkboard, babies crying in an airplane, and the humming of a dentist's drill. But for many, the voice of the truth and the call to repentance can inflict far more discomfort.

In the first reading, the Lord has the prophet Amos warn the Israelites of the pain they will suffer if they do not repent. The merciful Father wants His people to receive His blessings, but first, they need to acknowledge their sins and turn their lives over to Him.

But Amos' call to repentance disturbs the priest Amaziah. Instead of acknowledging his sinfulness and turning to the Lord, Amaziah tells Amos, "Off with you, visionary, flee to the land of Judah! There, earn your bread by prophesying" (Am 7:12).

Amos replies, "I was no prophet, nor have I belonged to a company of prophets; I was a shepherd and a dresser of sycamores. The LORD took me from following the flock, and said to me, go, prophesy to my people Israel" (Am 7:14-15). Though Amos preaches the truth with the purest intentions, Amaziah reacts as if Amos were conspiring against Israel and, therefore, sends him away.

In the Gospel reading, Jesus sends out the Twelve Apostles to preach repentance. He tells them to expect rejection. The Lord says, "Wherever you enter a house, stay there until you leave. Whatever place does not welcome you or listen to you, leave there and shake the dust off your feet in testimony against them" (Mk 6:10-11). Ancient Israelites revered hospitality as a sacred duty, so much so that when a traveler entered a new place, the local villagers had the responsibility to go out of their way to offer the traveler a place to stay. But for many, the message of repentance provoked them to forsake their sacred duty and send the Apostles away.

Truth tends to disturb those living in sin. The Lord's call to repentance, after all, requires both a change of heart and a change of action. But often, in our complacency and sinfulness, instead of turning back to the Lord, we harden our hearts, become angry, and if we're not careful, we become filled with hatred.

In St. Faustina's Diary , Jesus says, "There are souls with whom I can do nothing ... They do not look for Me within their own hearts, but in idle talk, where I am never to be found. They sense their emptiness, but they do not recognize their own guilt, while souls in whom I reign completely are a constant source of remorse to them. Instead of correcting themselves, their hearts swell with envy, and if they do not come to their senses, they plunge in even deeper. A heart, which thus far is envious, now begins to be filled with hate" (1717).

When confronted with our own wrongdoing, we ought to rejoice in the truth and joyfully turn back to the Lord. If instead, when hearing the truth, we become overly disturbed and angry, we face the danger of falling into hatred — sinking into misery.

But no matter how miserable we become, the Lord always stands by, ready to give us another chance. He wants nothing more than to transform us by the power of His Divine Mercy and recreate us into the person He intended us to be.

In fact, the Lord doesn't want the call of repentance to disturb us at all — He wants the voice of truth to become to us the most beautiful sound in the world.


To read the previous week's Sunday Scripture Preview, click here.

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