Monday of the Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time
(Micah 6:1-4.6-8; Matthew 12:38-42)
The police chief of a rather large southern city was outspoken. Murders had been increasing in the city, but people were obsessed with police brutality. He asked, “Where is the outrage for (the murder victims’) lives?” Noting the recent meetings and conversations about changing law enforcement policy, he asked, “Where are the meetings, and where are the conversations, and where are the protests for these victims?” A similar disparity between people’s demands and more critical needs may be found in today’s first reading.
Micah reports of the people of Judah’s attempt to appease God for their sins. They want to offer God multiple animal sacrifice in atonement. Someone makes the outrageous suggestion that he sacrifice his own child to make up for his sin. But the people overlook what is essential. God speaks through the prophet about what they are to do. They must, in sum, change their hearts. His famous command is “to do the right, to love goodness, and to walk humbly with your God.”
Murder is increasing in many places. It threatens social cohesion as it destroys young lives and causes great sorrow. It can be curtailed with deliberate, coordinated action. Certainly God will want us to discuss it and to establish ways to reduce it.