Tuesday of the Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time
(Micah 7:14-15.18-20; Matthew 12:46-50)
The prophet Micah was a contemporary of Isaiah. Both lived in Judah during the heyday of Assyria when the Northern Kingdom of Israel had fallen. They preached trust in the Lord as savior without concessions to the superpower. Micah is cited in the Book of the Prophet Jeremiah as responsible for the reform movement of King Hezekiah. He promised the destruction of Judah which prompted a return to the Lord. In today’s passage Micah describes God’s mercy for those who repent of wrong-doing.
He says that God “does not persist in anger forever, but delights rather in clemency.” He assures the people that God “will have compassion…, treading underfoot (their) guilt.” No one understands God’s infinite love more than Jesus. In today’s gospel Jesus indicates an intimate knowledge of it. In speaking of family relations he reserves a singular place for his father. Others may be his “brother, sister, and mother,” but only God is his “Father”.
Jesus would not deny that God is our Father as well. Indeed, his whole mission is to tell us of God’s fatherly care. There is no reason to fear His justice when we repent of our wrong-doing. God will gladly cancel our guilt and give us peace.