Advent calls each nation to seriously reflect upon the principles which guide the day to day life of their society. The 20th century saw a steady rise in the population of the earth with its ever increasing demand for wanting more and more of everything. Fulfilling this demand has created inequalities between people and nations. The 21st century has opened with a strong reminder that eventually the universal cost of such self-centred principles will have to be paid and it will be sooner rather than later.

The Sovereign Lord addresses a similar situation in the fourth Vision given to Amos. God warns the people of Israel that they will experience natural and cosmic disasters but that these will not be the most serious calamity to come upon them. The most serious will be a famine “of hearing the words of the Lord.” During his earthly ministry Jesus often challenged the religious leaders of the day to make the message of God’s love for all people more widely practised rather than focussing on expanding and perpetuating principles which supported injustice and inequality.

Do the principles which guide our society today threaten us with a famine of hearing the words of the Lord?

Bible Reading: Amos 8:1-14, Matthew 23:1-12