Monday of the Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time
(Micah 6:1-4.6-8; Matthew 12:38-42)
Both readings today speak of outrageous demands. Whether knowingly or not, people dictate to the Lord as if he were a schoolboy. Their requirements have to be rejected if God and not humans is to have authority.
The reading from Micah describes a court scene. Judah has obviously been at fault regarding its Covenant with God. So how are they going to make amends? Judah proposes that God accept standard offerings which already proven to be insincere. Then it makes an indecent offer – that God receives their children in a holocaust sacrifice! In the gospel the scribes and Pharisees demand a sign from Jesus after he has given seemingly as many signs as fill Times Square!
Micah famously explains what people owe to God: “…to do the right and to love goodness, and to walk humbly with your God.” Anything less than this would be pure pretentiousness on the part of Judah. Similarly, the scribes and Pharisees owe Jesus, as the most accomplished rabbi of the age, their utmost attention. We should go beyond these requirements to give the Lord our fullest devotion.