The first and the third of today's readings area certainly a continuation of the theme we did have last week. Last week the prophet Ezekiel was chosen to go to the nation of rebels and in the Gospel Jesus wasn't accepted by the citizens of His hometown because He said the unpopular truth.
In today's first reading we have prophet Amos expulsed from Bethel by Amaziah the priest, because Amos was preaching the unpopular truth. And in the Gospel we have Jesus sending His Apostles and warning them that they can be rejected.
Jesus is aware of the fact that His teaching will not always be accepted. His will of saving all and have all in the Kingdom of God is all inclusive, but He is aware that not all will accept His will, that some will reject it. He will never contradict Himself and deny the freedom given to humans.
This is why He warns and advises His Apostles: "Whatever place does not welcome you or listen to you, leave there and shake the dust off your feet in testimony against them".
More generally we can say that God is always ready to give each of us all necessary graces and gifts, but at the same time I am able to refuse His gifts and reject the graces offered by God including the Good News. This is; my freedom, my dignity and at the same time a danger.
The danger a making His graces and gifts fruitless. I am able to reject it because I am free. And God will never force me to accept His gifts because I am free. I am able to do it, to reject the graces of God by my stubbornness, my bad will, my negligence, by my selfishness, searching only my pleasure, my -so called- rights, finally by my pride. These are the reasons making God's graces useless!
Finally there are the reasons which lead me to the eternal damnation.
Why? Because God is serious in giving me freedom, even if I misuse it revolting against Him. But I have to be always aware of all possible consequences of my free decision. This is why Jesus says in today's Gospel: "Whatever place does not welcome you or listen to you, leave there and shake the dust off your feet in testimony against them".
What is the other possible way?
I can search the understanding of God's will and accept it. Of course, this requires and presupposes the faith; means I believe in God and I believe God, I trust Him. If I trust God, I believe that His will is the best of all possible solutions in my life, because I believe and I trust that He loves me like nobody else, and I believe that He cares for me like nobody else.
I have always a choice, I am free. I can accept the will of God, His Good News, His truth even if it is awkward and unpopular, or I can reject it and try to live by myself, trusting only my means and my solutions.
It seems that this is the main theme of the newest Encyclical Letter of Pope Benedict XVI "Caritas in veritate", where Pope is giving the answer for the fundamental question: "why the contemporary world is facing such big economical and social problems?" The answer is very simple and obvious. We are facing the problems because we are not living in the truth, we neglect the truth, we search the good of the people basing only on our human resources and our human understanding, and very often this human understanding is selfish, egoistic and rejecting God's love and God's commandments.
He concludes His Encyclical by very strong and relevant words:
"Without God man neither knows which way to go, nor even understands who he is. In the face of the enormous problems surrounding the development of peoples, which almost make us yield to discouragement, we find consolation in the sayings of our Lord Jesus Christ, who teaches us: “Apart from me you can do nothing” (Jn 15:5) and then encourages us: “I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Mt 28:20).
Only a humanism open to the Absolute can guide us in the promotion and building of forms of social and civic life — structures, institutions, culture and ethos — without exposing us to the risk of becoming ensnared by the fashions of the moment. Awareness of God's undying love sustains us in our laborious and stimulating work for justice and the development of peoples ..." (n. 78)