Fox & Birds

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Amos 2:6-16, Psalm 50, Matthew 8:18-22

The book of Amos teaches a most pure monotheism. Throughout his book, there isn’t a single reference to other deities besides the God of Israel. He often speaks of “the Lord of Hosts”, implying that God has untold forces and powers at His command; in other words, his omnipotence. Amos nails the lynchpin when he describes God’s most fundamental attribute throughout his book, that which is ‘Divine Simplicity’.

It is in this context that we read the mysterious verse Jesus speaks in this Gospel:

“Foxes have dens and birds of the sky have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to rest his head.” (Mt 18:20).

St. Augustine gives fabulous insight in revealing the mysteries of this verse:

“By the fox is meant craft and cunning, by the birds, pride. Thus then our blessed Lord answered him; Pride and Deceit dwell in your heart, but you have left no place for the Son of Man to rest his head, who can rest only in the meek and humble.”

Now we can see why Jesus rejected this scribe. Indeed, those who desire to follow Jesus out of vanity, deceit and pride experiences no true conversion in their hearts. If we truly want to follow Jesus, it really isn’t that complicated. All we need is meekness and simplicity. Luke describes it beautifully when he says we must be like children (Lk 18:17). That is the disposition we all must strive to attain. Blessed Monday, friends!


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Noel Ethan Tan

Noel Ethan Tan

Noel is a Singaporean working as a rehabilitation counsellor at ACC(S) Psychiatric Rehabilitation Centre. He is currently doing a part-time Masters Program in Counselling and Guidance at NTU, Singapore. In his church ministry, Noel is currently serving in a young adults' Catholic community called Anawim that does Bible Exegesis. Noel is also pursuing a Certificate in Theology at the Catholic Theological Institute of Singapore. His favorite Bible verse is 1 Peter 3:15 — “In your hearts, reverence Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to make a defense to any who calls you to account for the hope that is in you, but do it with gentleness and reverence.”

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