Saint Lawrence of Brindisi, Priest and Doctor of the Church
You have been told … what is good, and what the Lord requires of you. (Micah 6:8)
Micah 6:1-4, 6-8;Psalm 50:5-6, 8-9, 16-17, 21, 23; Matthew 12:38-42
Through the prophet Micah, God let it be known that he had a bone to pick with his people. The situation was so serious that he called on the mountains and the foundations of the earth as witnesses. “O my people, what have I done to you, or how have I wearied you? Answer me!” (Micah 6:3). God was distressed by the way his people were clinging to the rituals and sacrifices of the Law, but still ignored the cry of the poor and needy.
Perhaps some of the people were puzzled by God’s accusation of negligence—“We’ve been offering God his sacrifices, haven’t we? What more does he want?” But Micah explained that God wasn’t mainly interested in sacrifices. He wanted them to demonstrate their love by living justly, kindly, and humbly (Micah 6:8).
Justice, kindness, humility—that doesn’t sound so difficult, does it? Try it for a little while. Tell yourself that from this moment on, you will respond to each situation today in a just, kind, and humble manner. It’s not so easy after all, is it?
Here’s the good news: God never intended for you to do all this by your own strength. From the moment he breathed life into you, he has wanted to give you his Spirit and the grace you need to say yes to him. Now, because of Jesus’ victory on the cross, the Holy Spirit has been poured out on all who believe and are baptized. This Spirit is not just a reserve tank that we switch on when we reach the end of our resources. No, he is meant to be the source of all our efforts at justice, mercy, and love.
Choose one challenging situation today, and ask the Spirit to guide you toward the right choice or to help you speak the right words. Let him show you the path of justice and godliness. He won’t necessarily take away the challenge, but he will help you be more peaceful and spiritually alert. Remember, God wants your heart, not just your sacrifices.
“Lord, I don’t want to try to serve you on my own power. I need your Spirit. Give me power and wisdom so that I can walk in justice, kindness, and humility.”~wau