Am 9:11-15; Ps 85:9-14; Mt 9:14-17
Only the LORD can bestow peace on his people. We are so resourceful when it comes to war, but we have no resources when it comes to peace. We resist the truth that should be so apparent by now. It is the LORD himself who speaks of peace to his people. His peace will come only when we recognize that everyone in our world is a child of God, the Father. His only begotton Son came to reveal his kingdom of peace and justice. The Lord Jesus came in peace and was rejected in the violence of the cross that alone reveals the love of the LORD for all who long for peace. It is the Spirit outpoured upon all his sons and daughters that fills our hearts to overflowing with all the gifts. His peace is our gift. Near indeed is Abba’s salvation for those who fear him, glory dwelling in our land. Kindness, unexpected and undeserved, meets the truth that alone sets us free. Justice and peace shall kiss in that day. We will know the justice for which we dream and the peace that passes understanding. Truth springs up like a river overflowing on the face of the earth, and justice looks down from on high. The LORD himself gives all these benefits, and our land shall yield its increase. Justice shall walk before the Lord Jesus who leads us on the way to the self-sacrificing love of the cross. We know salvation as we walk in the way of his steps all the way to Calvary and beyond to the new life of resurrection. It is this day of the LORD that the prophet Amos preached among those who were desperate and lost in their own sins and political machinations. It is the day of the LORD that has arrived when the bridegroom of our souls has come to claim his spotless and pure bride from among the children of God. Only this Day of the LORD is our day of peace, the day for which we wait in patience and work for with all our strength.
The fallen hut of David is still the chosen place of God’s dwelling. Even though the sons of David were consistently and constantly unfaithful to the covenant, the LORD remains faithful. His promise to King David, the man after his own heart, is renewed in the preaching of the prophet. Amos promises that the LORD will rebuild the city of his glory as in the days of old. Then, will all the nations of the earth bear the Name of the LORD. It is the LORD who sows the seed of his Kingdom among us. The sweet juice of the grape shall drip down the mountainsides and all this hills of Judah shall run with it. The wine of his Kingdom will be given to all his children to refresh and redeem all his children. Such abundance is our future. When the LORD comes to dwell among us the plowman will overtake the reaper, and the vintager him who sows the seed. The LORD will restore his people, and they shall inhabit a new city not made by human hands, a city that comes from the hand of God. Never again will the harvest of God be plucked from his land. This is his promise, and it is worthy of our trust. Indeed, without our trust the LORD is hindered, but not stopped. Indeed, the LORD never forces himself upon us. Our freedom, he respects. Yet, even if we reject him and his kingdom, it still will come for he is the LORD and there is no other. He has made us in his own image and likeness, and he knows our deepest longing for unity and peace that only he can give. Such is the vision of glory dwelling in our land; it is the prophetic dream of Amos. It is our dream, too, and the joy of our hearts.
The disciples of Saint John the Baptist and the Pharisees still viewed fasting the old way. They saw their fasting as a way to gain the favor of the LORD and as a way to attract his attention. However the LORD himself, the Divine Bridegroom, has come to romance his beloved, his pure and precious bride. Now that he is here the Kingdom has begun, and there is no longer any need to fast for favor. How can the wedding guests mourn and fast? The bridegroom is here. However, when the bridegroom is taken away forced to carry his cross and suffer and die for the sins of many, and then they will fast. The arrival of the bridegroom is the beginning of the Kingdom. Until it arrives in its fullness the disciples will fast and mourn because the bridegroom will participate in the saving sacrifice of her beloved bridegroom. Now our fasting and sacrifices are united with the beloved Christ. He has suffered not so that we will not have to suffer, but to teach us how to suffer, in love, through love and for love. This is the new way of fasting of willing self-sacrifice. Now we are one with the seamless garment of Christ who died exposed and vulnerable for the sins of the nations. Now we are that new wine poured into fresh wineskins for the joy of the human heart. The prophesy of Amos is fulfilled beyond all measure and the Kingdom of God is found here among us in our sharing in the sacrifice of Christ and in the power of his resurrection.