Alas for those who devise wickedness and evil deeds on their beds! When the morning dawns, they perform it, because it is in their power. They covet fields, and seize them; houses, and take them away; they oppress householder and house, people and their inheritance.
Therefore thus says the Lord: Now, I am devising against this family an evil from which you cannot remove your necks; and you shall not walk haughtily, for it will be an evil time. On that day they shall take up a taunt song against you, and wail with bitter lamentation, and say, “We are utterly ruined; the Lord alters the inheritance of my people; how he removes it from me! Among our captors he parcels out our fields.”
Therefore you will have no one to cast the line by lot in the assembly of the Lord.
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.
Today, the prophet Micah delivers a sobering message to the corrupt law courts and greedy false prophets of Israel. Like many of our day, Israel’s leaders steal from the common people of the land. Just like modern-day charlatans or corrupt politicians, they commit their crimes in broad daylight, but God does not turn a blind eye!
These aren’t your typical criminals. The difference is day and night. Conventional thieves break and enter, and sneak around in the night. But these swindlers work under the sun, within the system! Always keeping up appearances, they simply use the night to plot their heists behind closed doors and “on their beds” as Micah says. Only when the sun rises do these so-called leaders rob the weak; in the morning light they execute their plans and deprive the people of their livelihood and land. To whom shall the people turn?
I love the image Micah gives us in the chapter preceding today’s readings. Ultimately, the stolen land belongs to the Lord. In Micah’s vision, the land splits and melts away like a wax candle before the coming of God’s righteous judgement (Micah 1:4). Like a candle in a dark room, the Lord dispels this dark situation. The scene appears both wonderful and terrifying, but this is the hope he gives us all. The Lord will not slight his people.
—Jarvis Williams is wrapping up his year of service at Cristo Rey Jesuit in Houston as a part of the Volunteer Service Corps.
But you do see! Indeed you note trouble and grief,
that you may take it into your hands;
the helpless commit themselves to you;
you have been the helper of the orphan
—Ps 10: 14Please share the Good Word with your friends!