ACT JUSTLY AND LOVE TENDERLY            Mic.6.1-4.6-8

Micah was a contemporary of Isaiah. His ministry as a prophet was in Judah between 750BC – 686BC. He predicted the fall of Samaria, the capital of the southern Kingdom, and foretold the destruction of Judah. As a local prophet he was sensitive to the social ills of the day.

In the first reading today a courtroom scenes opens before us. The Lord God places a legal complaint against Israel; before all of creation. The witnesses are the inanimate objects of creation. They are to testify as third party since they have been there since the foundation of the world. They are to give witness to the abhorrent crimes of Israel. The mountains are to present their plea and the hills are to listen to their voice Yahweh enters into trial with Israel. Who will stand for the nation? If God condemns who will acquit? In the verses to follow the Lord pleads with Israel, what have I done? How have I wearied you? God reminds Israel of his gracious acts releasing them from slavery and giving them the leadership of Moses and his company to make their way to the Promised Land.

The nation responds to the requests of the LORD GOD. How is the nation to make recompense for its injustice towards the Lord? Burnt offerings will not suffice, nor will the fruit of man labors suffice the Lord. The LORD asks only to do right and love goodness, to walk humbly with the God. This becomes the theme of the prophet, Micah – calling a people to act justly, to love tenderly and to walk again humbly with their God. This is all the Lord requires for a people whom he has called his own.

God has made a covenant with his people God remembers his covenant forever. His love endures. All the ends of the earth have seen the saving power of God.  He does not expect much. To follow the ways of God is quite simple when we look at these three requirements. Firstly, to act justly; Jesus teaches us in the Gospel to treat others as we would want to be treated ourselves – the Golden Rule. To do good is to imitate God who alone is good. Secondly, to love tenderly; as Christian we are called to love. This is the new command that Jesus gives. We are to love tenderly for the Lord had shown his own tender love and mercy. Thirdly we are called to walk humbly with God. St Peter reminds us to humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God that he may lift us up in due time (1 Pet.5.6).

God desires to have us in covenant relationship with him. He is our God and we are his people.  Have I met these requirements that Micah speaks of – to do right, to love goodness and to walk humbly with God?

God of the Covenant, today I desire to hear your voice and not harden my heart to what you ask of me.     Give me the grace to obey you and walk in your ways. Amen