Today's gospel ends with an observation.
No one can serve two masters
The language rings as arcane because we like to think that they days of masters and servants, or even more so slaves, is long past. But has it?
How long can you sit and talk with a friend or family member without someone checking their phone? When I was a child my father worked from 8 AM to 4 PM. When he came home he was home. How many of us can constrain our work like that any more? Even when we are not physically at work, we are still working.
The real question these reading put before us is: How much is my life truly mine?
God created us in his image and likeness and endowed us with free will. And yet if each of us looks closely at our lives we will find that we have in some way surrendered that freedom. In often slow and insidious ways we loose ourselves in the barrage of competing demands. How many marriages have failed because one or both parties have lost sight of why they got married? If often gets phrased as "We drifted apart."
These reading invite us to step back and ask one simple question, who am I?
While servant is a biblical image, if we look at the words of Jesus we find we are called to something more intimidate. Jesus taught us to pray not, Our Master, but Our Father. In John's gospel he tells us that he no longer calls us servants, but friends.
The dual command: love God, and love neighbor.
These are the images of what God wants us to be.
The greatest gift God has given each of us is life. Perhaps it's time to take back your life. Are there ways in which you have become enslaved? When you are with your loved ones, are you truly with them, giving them your undivided attention? When you pray, are you truly giving God you attention or are you constantly letting yourself be distracted?
The people of Israel against whom Amos rails today were not bad people, they were the chosen people. They forgot that. They allowed themselves to be lured off the path. Amos had to remind them who they were.
Remember who you are and reclaim the freedom Christ won for you!