July 23, 2018
by Roland Coelho, S.J.
Creighton University Graduate Student
click here for photo and information about the writer

Monday of the Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 395

Micah 6:1-4, 6-8
Psalms 50:5-6, 8-9, 16bc-17, 21 and 23
Matthew 12:38-42

Praying Ordinary Time

Weekly Guide for Daily Prayer

Gather Us In: Thoughts on the Synod on Family

What does God want of me?

“Father, I messed up my life,” said a young man to me the other day. He continued, “What must I do to get closer to God?” For many of us, we question: What does God expect of me? How can I please God? Can I ever be good enough? Should I pray more? Or should I be doing some good works to save my soul? These are important questions that people ask today.

The first reading from today’s liturgy informs us that the Israelites asked similar questions when they realized that they had broken the covenant with a God who had rescued them from slavery in Egypt and who had always been faithful to them. What will please the Lord—burnt offerings, thousands of rams, or ten thousand rivers of oil? Or even the sacrifice of a first-born child? (Note that God stopped Abraham from sacrificing his own son in Gen. 22). None of these sacrifices or offerings!

The Prophet Micah (6:8) gives a completely new perspective of what God requires of me. God does not want my religious sacrifices or “showy” pious practices when they are aimed to impress people; rather God is interested in my life-style, values, attitudes, and how I treat others. Micah provides a three-fold summary of concrete acts of love and service that help me to be free of my false self and to be filled with God’s Spirit. This is what God wants of me:Micah

  1. To do what is right. To be just, to be fair, and to be equal, with special care for the poor and the downtrodden. To reach out to those who are shunned by society.
  2. To love goodness. To be merciful and faithful as God is—a God who has made us in the divine image and likeness, a God who loves us unconditionally, a God who desires our wholeness and fullness of life.
  3. To walk humbly with God. To be aware of God’s presence and to put God first in my life, to listen to God’s voice, and to obey God’s will. I become aware that God is my closest friend and constant companion.

And so we pray today: Dear Jesus, help me to walk with you in order that I may be just and faithful today. Amen!

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