(Penitential rite) It is a day of celebration, a day for gratitude for the freedom and independence this nation experiences but it is also a day to be contrite for our national and personal failures to provide liberty and justice for all. the failure to resolve the tragic situation of immigration along our southern border, the racial tension and violence on city streets. So let us be mindful of our need.
(Scripture reflection) Our Declaration of Independence reminds us as a Nation that: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men and women are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” It seems to me that today’s reading from the Prophet Amos is perfect for the occasion: “Seek good and not evil, that you may live; Then truly will the Lord, the God of hosts be with you as you claim!.. Let justice prevail at the gate.” To live these values today as our ancestors did in their own time means facing the demons of our own culture and place as we see Jesus doing in the gospel today. As we own them, we also come to realize that they can only be cast out by the finger of God. And so we celebrate the mystery of God’s great love for us and ask for the grace to enter ever more into it as a people destined for freedom.
Amos 5:14-15, 21-24; Mt 8:28-34