One thing is sure about the prophet Amos: he doesn’t mince words. In fact, if you read the whole of his book and don’t find yourself feeling at least a little guilty, you might not be capable of that emotion! In today’s first reading, Amos puts forward what is, really, the theme of his preaching: stop offering token sacrifices and then doing evil. God does not want our ritual offerings if we are then going to steal from the poor, and marginalize the most vulnerable members of our society. If we want to offer the kind of sacrifice God desires, then it has to be the sacrifice of laying down our lives and pouring ourselves out in service to those who are in need. When we’ve done that, then, and only then, are we ready to offer sacrifice.