The Holy Prophet Amos is known as the prophet of doom, the third of the Twelve Minor Prophets who lived during the eighth century before Jesus Christ. Amos accurately foretold the destruction of the northern kingdom of Israel due to the unfaithfulness of the Israelites. That is, the tribes of Israel were governed by an idol-worshipper and the people joined in that worship of a golden calf (a false god) instead of the One, Living God. Thus, they rejected the God of Israel.
Biographically, little is known about his life and what we known comes from his book in the Bible, the first to be named after a Hebrew prophet.
The faith of the Church is seen in the liturgical hymns of the Divine Liturgy. In the Kontakion, therefore, for today’s Liturgy commemorates the Holy Prophet in this way:
Having purified your heart spiritually, O glorious Prophet Amos, you received the gift of prophecy from on high and proclaimed to all: “This is our God and beside Him there is no other.”
As point of comparison, today Amos is remembered liturgically by the Byzantine Catholics and Orthodox; the Armenians recall his memory on July 31 and the Latin Church has his feast on March 31.
Why is the Holy Prophet important for us today in the 21st century? The prophets remind us, like they did when they lived, to be faithful to the God who made us and continues to give us his gifts. Perhaps Amos’ own words are helpful to answer the question when he delivers God’s message:
“The people of Israel have sinned again and again, and for this I will certainly punish them. They sell into slavery honest people who cannot pay their debts, the poor who cannot repay even the price of a pair of sandals. They trample down the weak and helpless and push the poor out of the way’’ (Amos 2:6).
Holy Prophet Amos, keep us faithful to God and not false gods, pray for us.