Three-fold Test of Fidelity

Fr. Lawrence Jagdfeld, O.F.M., Administrator

Today's reading from the prophet Micah is one of the most often quoted and most recognizable oracles of the Hebrew Scriptures. God measures our fidelity by a three-fold test: do what is right, love goodness, and walk humbly with God. Seems simple enough in the abstract, but it is in the arena of practicality when we find ourselves put to the test.

The Gospel passage from St. Matthew for today shows us that these tests of fidelity do not always win the approval of our contemporaries. Jesus always does what is right, gives tangible proofs of his love for all, and is demonstrably humble before God. Yet the scribes and Pharisees are still not satisfied that he is the promised one. Once again we hear them ask for a sign.

Unfortunately, our world is much the same. Just as the people of Micah's time and just as the scribes and Pharisees of Jesus' time fail to recognize God's word as it is proclaimed by those who are prophets, we too seem to ignore the voices of the prophets in our own time. Our news media focuses on what is wrong in the world not only because it is newsworthy, but also because we never seem to tire of it. Celebrities gain the adulation of the masses despite the fact that there is little that is good in their lives. Notoriety is the goal of far more people in our world than is humility.

The voices of the prophets continue to bring us God's word. It is imperative that we heed the message.

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