Monday of the Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time
1 Reading: Mi 6:1-4, 6-8; Gospel: Mt 12:38-42
The greatest threat to spirituality today is not persecution or secularism or the media but the belief that evidence of the existence of something alone validates its value. For example in order to show someone that we love them, we tend to organize a surprise party that will make that person happy or a parent who buys everything the child asks in order to prove that the parent cares for the child. In today’s Prosperity Theology, where wealth and health are seen as evidence of a proof of God’s blessing, we direct our attention towards a transactional spirituality where we believe that through our practices of piety and good works we are on our way towards heaven and deserve to be blessed by God.
But the readings of today invite us to draw deeper from the well of divine love. St. Theresa of Avila in describing moving away from an evidence-based spirituality to a trust-based spirituality where a person is drawing water not sure about how much will he be able to draw out but draws out of a trust that is centred on faith. In the first reading Prophet Micah portrays a dialogue between God and the people of Israel. God is portrayed as someone at their wits end in trying to get the people of Israel to turn towards Him and complains that the people of Israel have become tired of him inspite of all he had done. The people respond by asking what should they do? Should they sacrifice more or perform other actions that would “please” God. But all God asks is that they do what is right, love goodness and walk humbly before God. In the Gospel too Jesus rebukes the people asking them to move away from a spirituality that promotes signs as proof of God’s love and God’s predilection. But to understand that in living their everyday lives as ordinary as it maybe and by performing their daily duties as an invitation towards understanding the “holiness of the here and now,” they will please God and grow closer towards lives that are holier, fuller and complete.
Let the prayer of Prophet Micah resonate in our minds and hearts as we live this day “Lord Jesus may I do what is right, love goodness and walk humbly before you day after day. Amen.”