“[P]rofit and perfection in a man consist in…offering yourself with your whole heart to the will of God, without seeking your own interests, neither in little nor in much, neither in time nor in eternity.” (IC 3,25,5) | “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.” (Mi 6:8)

The Imitation of Christ by Thomas à Kempis, Book III Chapter XXV: ”In What Stable Peace of Heart and True Profit Consists” (second entry)

Prior to this passage, Christ has told the disciple how peace is not found: by judging rashly, by feeling no burden or opposition, or by “experiencing great devotion and sweetness of spirit.” Here, the Lord says that what must be one’s disposition is simply looking to please Him without any ulterior motive outside of pure, unadulterated love.

|Today’s first reading: Mi 6:1-4, 6-8

The prophet Micah here begins an oracle of judgment on Israel. Micah lived in the late eight century/early seventh century B.C., although scholars debate whether he is speaking of those times in which he lived or prophesying about the later Babylonian exile (beginning in 587 B.C.). In any case, we have a heartsick God asking the Chosen People why they have turned against Him (as they so often did) who has done such mighty deeds throughout His association with them. Does He demand burnt offerings, or even human sacrifice as penance? No! Goodness and humility are all that is required.

|Reflection

The message of God has not changed over the eons. Nothing extravagant needs to be done to please Him. His simple mantra: Love Him above all else and love others as ourselves. The first requires humility (recognizing our status compared to His), the second requires goodness (treat others as we wish to be treated). Both fulfill the will of God in our lives. A “whole-hearted” offering that is sure to fill the hole in our hearts that can only be filled by the Lord.

Prophet Micah - Orthodox Church in America

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