Reading a remarkable little book by Lauren F. Winner titled Real Sex: the Naked Truth about Chastity. And in the course of it she quotes this passage. If you aren't familiar with Amos (and who is) this is what the passage has to say:
11Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD:
12And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the LORD, and shall not find it.
I'll need to spend some more time with this verse and its context, but isn't it a prophecy for today? Isn't it incredibly appropriate to our lives and times? And isn't it frightening.
There will be a famine not of bread and water, but of hearing the word of God, and people will scramble to try to find it and there will be all sorts of "interpreters of the word" ready to tell them exactly what they want to hear. But there will be no one to tell them the truth.
The most frightening part of this is that we are part of that famine. Every time we participate in something ungodly--every time we listen to gossip being spread and say nothing about it, every time we hear God being maligned and simply walk away, every time we hear the scriptures being misused, misquoted, and distorted we increase the famine of the word.
More, every time we pick up the newspaper or turn on the television set without having spent time in the Word and listening to God, every time we let a day pass without reading the scripture and sharing its good news with someone in some small way, every time we pass up an opportunity for a Bible Study or a moment of prayer because it is inconvenient, we are contributing to the famine. And our land is already skeletal and the vulture of the Prince of this world are already circling waiting for the last gasp.
"All that is required for evil to conquer is for good people to do nothing." The time for silence and for putting off our study and time with the Lord has long since passed. We must speak the truth in light, but to do so, we must know it and we can only know it if we know Jesus Christ. And finally, "Ignorance of the Scriptures is ignorance of Christ."
When I was with the Charismatic movement, I had a gift given me that I believe was wrongly identified as prophecy. I think rather that my gift is exhortation and encouragement. And now I am exhorting and encouraging. Life is terribly, terribly short and souls stand the chance of being lost every single day. Our silence has terrible repurcussions and implications. If you cannot speak the Gospel in words, then speak it in your actions of the day. In Today's reading for Mass Jesus promised us that even so small an action as giving a cup of water would carry a great reward. Think then what the reward would be for pulling the drowning from the waters that threaten to engulf them. I know that I will make a commitment to try much harder to read scripture and live out the image of Christ they convey to the betterment of all around me. And I promise to share as much as I can of what this ultimately means.
God bless you all--now--hit the books!