Daily Reflection – July 18, 2016
Monday 18 July 2016
First Reading: Micah 6:1-4, 6-8
To the upright I will show the saving power of God
Psalm 49(50):5-6, 8-9, 16-17, 21, 23
Gospel Reading: Matthew 12:38-42
Today’s Note: Monday of the Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time
Some of the scribes and Pharisees said to Jesus,
“Teacher, we wish to see a sign from you.”
He said to them in reply,
“An evil and unfaithful generation seeks a sign,
but no sign will be given it
except the sign of Jonah the prophet.
Just as Jonah was in the belly of the whale three days and three nights,
so will the Son of Man be in the heart of the earth
three days and three nights.
At the judgment, the men of Nineveh will arise with this generation
and condemn it, because they repented at the preaching of Jonah;
and there is something greater than Jonah here.
At the judgment the queen of the south will arise with this generation
and condemn it, because she came from the ends of the earth
to hear the wisdom of Solomon;
and there is something greater than Solomon here.”
The Lord has a plea against his people. (Micah 6:2)
When we picture the Last Judgment, we often see a stern-faced God in regal robes. Trembling in terror, each of us is dragged into the courtroom in chains to face the punishment we deserve for all the sins we have committed in our lifetime. We despair of ever scraping together enough to pay whatever fine we feel we must owe.
Suddenly the scene shifts. The stern judge smiles softly and removes his robe. He asks you to step up to the bench, put on the robe, and take the gavel. Then the judge steps down and sits in the docket. “What is your accusation against me?” he asks. “How have I disappointed you?”
You, the former prisoner, are speechless. You dimly remember times you have blamed God for things in your life that didn’t go quite the way you expected. But at the moment, you can’t come up with a single convincing complaint. You are in awe over the fact that God would humble himself so deeply.
“No,” you insist, “I’m the guilty one. Any sentence you impose is more than just. In fact, I can’t think of any punishment that could possibly make up for all my wrongdoing.”
The judge takes up the papers containing the charges against you and stamps them Canceled. Despite your objections, he takes out another stamp. Case Dismissed. Then he puts his arm around your shoulders. “Enough of this courtroom drama,” he says. “It wasn’t my idea in the first place. Let’s have a party instead so that we can celebrate your homecoming.”
You continue to protest. “Surely there must be something I can do to show you how sorry I am. You can’t just set me free like this. I didn’t do anything to earn this pardon!”
“No, you didn’t,” the judge assures you. “But that doesn’t matter. But from this point on, let’s agree to do justice, to love goodness, and to walk humbly together.”
Spend some time prayerfully imagining yourself in this scene. Yes, the Lord has a plea against you—he is pleading for you to know how much he loves you!
“Heavenly Father, your love is overwhelming! How can I possibly grasp its depths?”