Today we hear one of my favorite readings from the Old Testament, from the book of Micah. I like it because it is so simple in its explanation of leading a life of faith. Do the right. Love goodness. Walk humbly. If the type of simplicity that Jesus presents when he tells us that all the law and the commandments can be summed up in loving God and neighbor. Focusing on these words we simply cannot provide the excuse for not living a life of faith that concerns not understanding what is expected of us.
For in today’s reading, the task presented is clear. Of course, the real challenge is putting into practice this very simple command of Micah, and likewise the very clear command of Jesus. St. Paul says in one of his readings that he sees the good that he wishes to do it prefers evil instead, we know that it is not always easy to do the right. Obviously, this is because doing the right is not always easy. Sometimes doing the right is understanding the difference between short-term and long-term consequences. It can seem that doing the right when it leads to short-term gain, might be okay.
This notion of short-term gain is exactly what is going on in today’s gospel. Give us a sign. Show us something that represents quite clearly short-term gain. Don’t make us wait. Perform some magic, do something amazing, and then we will believe. We simply do not experience in any human relationship, such dazzling ability to form an authentic relationship that can be built on razzle-dazzle.
No, authentic relationships but only take time, but they take a commitment to seek out the goodness that is present in the other. For when we love, it is goodness that we love. Such is the second part of Micah’s great command. Love goodness. It is the goodness that is inherent in human beings that causes us to love. It is the goodness that is inherent in each one of us, that enables us to love neighbors as ourselves. It is the goodness inherent in us, that comes to us precisely because that is the way in which God made us.
True relationships are founded on an understanding of humility. Being humble is not simply about poor self-esteem, or thinking of ourselves as worthless. Such is not authentic Christian theology. When God created human beings, God saw that this was good. In fact God saw that everything God created was good. As a matter of fact, when it came to human beings, as God was looking over what he had created in men and women, he did not think that they were good, but that they were very good.
Put simply, we can do the right, love goodness, and walk humbly with God precisely because that is the purpose for which we were created.
You have been told, what is good,
and what the LORD requires of you:
Only to do the right and to love goodness,
and to walk humbly with your God.
It is time for us to put this into practice.