Micah 6:1-4, 6-8
Both of today’s readings tell of people who blind themselves to the truth. In Micah’s awe-inspiring court scene, God calls upon the mountains, the hills, the very foundations of the earth as witnesses against Israel. God is frustrated, angry, disappointed. This people, recipient of so many divine favors, ought to know what constitutes true worship. Nevertheless, their understanding has become terribly distorted. They pile up ritual sacrifices. They even engage in the abominable practice of sacrificing their children. God is outraged, but enters a desperate plea for a change of course, a return to the true way that leads to the salvation of God. Wicked as the people have become, their case is not hopeless.
The Pharisees and scribes who confront Jesus are also incredibly oblivious to truth. They ask Him to work some signs. What do they make of the healings and exorcisms that take place before their eyes? The pagan citizens of Nineveh and the queen of Sheba responded faithfully to the much lesser graces they received.
Signs of God’s compassionate presence and works of power seem as lost on Jesus’ opponents as they were on Micah’s people. Jesus offers them instead a sign of weakness. He will be three days and three nights in the tomb. In the end, it will be through Jesus’ death that God’s point will be made. The right way to salvation, cited by Micah, leads through the Cross. How strange!
- Sister Mary O’Brien, C.P.