Hear what the Lord says: Rise, plead your case before the mountains, and let the hills hear your voice. Hear, you mountains, the controversy of the Lord, and you enduring foundations of the earth; for the Lord has a controversy with his people, and he will contend with Israel. “O my people, what have I done to you? In what have I wearied you? Answer me! For I brought you up from the land of Egypt, and redeemed you from the house of slavery; and I sent before you Moses, Aaron, and Miriam.
“With what shall I come before the Lord, and bow myself before God on high? Shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves a year old? Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams, with ten thousands of rivers of oil? Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?” He has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
The prophet Micah in today’s first reading speaks out on behalf of an incredulous Lord, who puts the Israelites on trial: “O my people, what have I done to you? In what have I wearied you? Answer me!”
If you are a parent, surely you can relate to our Father’s frustration. In this case, that frustration is borne not out of a failure on the Israelites’ part to make the appropriate sacrificial offerings – it sounds like they pretty much had that part licked. Rather, Micah points to their inability to follow the most basic of precepts – to be good people and to do the right thing.
This season of Ordinary Time, with its spans of virtually uninterrupted religious “routine,” can find us, too, going through the spiritual motions. But our Lord calls us to offer more than our ritual burnt offerings – he calls us to go set the world ablaze.
As I consider this day – a gift from our Lord – where do I detect God’s invitation to a more active collaboration on my part?
—Corey Quinn is the president of De Smet Jesuit High School in St. Louis.
Jesus, Join my Life to Yours
I want to unite my life to your life,
my thoughts to your thoughts,
my affections to your affections,
my heart to your heart,
my works to your works,
my whole self to your self,
in order to become through this union
more holy and more pleasing in the sight our your Father
and in order to make my life more worthy of your grace
and of the reward of eternity.
—Excerpt from Jesus, Join My Life to Yours by Jean-Pierre Médaille, SJ