Monday of the Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time
(Micah 6:1-4.6-8; Matthew 12:38-42)
In today’s first reading the person who asks if sacrifices would please the Lord is actually defying Him. Adding insult to injury, the person suggests that the Lord wants human sacrifice. The gospel passage carries a similar rebellious tone. The Pharisees demand a sign from Jesus that he is God’s envoy. But Jesus has already worked numerous healings. What good would another mighty deed do? All need to recognize what God demands of humans: that they repent of their sins and show mercy. This has been Jesus’ teaching from the beginning.
In one family the children would ask their mother every year what she wanted for Christmas. The mother invariably replied, “Good kids.” The children knew what she meant but were not eager to comply. Like the petitioners in today’s readings, they tried to dodge what they know to be right.
It is not nearly as hard to consistently do the right thing as we fear. It takes some effort, but often we feel much better for doing it. We should find satisfaction just in knowing that we please God who is worthy of all our love.