This is the Lord’s plea through His prophet Micah (6:1-4, 6-8). For all that He has done for His people, Yahweh must deal with an obstinate and disobedient flock.
Not much has changed in the intervening millennia. Today, more and more, it is not even a matter of questioning or ignoring God — would there be at least belief! That there even is a God (or “higher power” or “something out there” ) is placed into question or outright dismissed entirely. The ongoing push for expulsion of Christianity from the public square (it has already been accomplished in the public schools) is a reason for dismay and for concern (pray for religious freedom!).
The remedy comes at the end of the reading:
You have been told, O man, 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.
Easier said than done. What have we been “told”? What does the Lord “require”? We have the Scriptures, Tradition, and the Magisterium? But the number who know what is authentically taught by the Church continues to decrease.
What is “right”? What is “goodness”? With the dictatorship of moral relativism, this is an open question (at best — for some the poles have switched: good is now evil and evil is good) to the lukewarm, the easily swayed, the poorly catechized, the doubter, the unbeliever. “Walk humbly”? Humility is not treated as the safeguard of the virtues (the “gem casket” as St. Basil the Great put it) especially with our political leaders or in the swamp of social media.
Visit of the Queen of Sheba to King Solomon (detail), by Edward Poynter, 1890.
At the judgment the queen of the south will arise with this generation
and condemn it. (from today’s Gospel: Mt 12:38-42)
When will we heed the warnings and get right with God?