Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Tuesday of the Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time

(Micah 7:14-15.18-20; Matthew 12:46-50)

As summer’s heat reaches its peak (in the northern hemisphere) with more ferocity than normal, some are asking what causes such inclement weather. An increasingly common answer is the profligate burning of fossil fuels. Curiously the response approximates that of biblical times when self-indulgence among the people was seen as the general cause of hardship. In the first reading today, the prophet Micah looks to God for deliverance.

Micah prophesized in the southern kingdom and predicted the fall of Jerusalem. In today’s passage, however, he looks beyond ruination to a time when God will forgive the sins of Israel and restore the nation to its ancient glory.

We see Micah’s prophecy fulfilled in Jesus whose birthplace the prophet names in an earlier oracle. Jesus’ faithfulness on behalf of the people wins God’s forgiveness and brings about a new Israel, the Church. We, its members, are to live in a reformed way that embraces everyone in love, even future generations. Such love compels us to care for the earth so that ecological disaster may be avoided.