Have you ever been summoned for jury duty in Superior Court? If so, then you probably remember sitting in the jury room waiting for your name to be called and possibly hoping against hope that you won’t be called for a long trial because of your busy schedule!
Sure enough the bailiff calls your name and you and the other potential jurors leave for the court room. As you enter, all the court officials, the attorneys, and defendants are there and together we all await the judge.
Today’s reading from the prophet Micah invites us to enter into this scene in prayer. Be prepared, we may find some role reversals in this courtroom!
The prophet calls us to listen, to hear the cosmic dimensions of the trial… mountains, hills and the foundations of the earth. Yahweh is both judge and accuser, while Israel, God’s chosen (and each of us who enter into this reading today in prayer) are the defendants!
The Lord calls us to attention. "Arise! Present your plea before the mountains and let the hills hear your voice! " Then the Lord appeals to the mountains to hear Yahweh’s plea… to pay attention along with the foundations of the world; For the Lord has a plea against the people and enters into trial with Israel.
Addressing Israel, and each of us who enter into this reading today in our own lives, Yahweh asks: "What have I done to you, or how have I wearied you? Answer me!….
Then the Lord gives examples of all God had done for the people…
Take a some time for your own reflection. What has the Lord done for me? Let us be reminded of our daily call to do what Yahweh requires of us: Ongoing internal conversion and a proper attitude of spirit – the same spirit that Hebrew Prophets proclaimed:
"To do justice, to love with God’s love-"hessed" – with God’s mercy, kindness… that expression of love, our daily response to God’s love in our everyday lives. All summed up in the familiar conclusion of this reading:
"You have been told, O man and woman, what is good and what the Lord requires of you: "ONLY DO THE RIGHT AND TO LOVE GOODNESS, AND TO WALK HUMBLY WITH YOUR GOD".
The judge looks at me, at each of us and speaks: " Will the defendant(s) please stand.
What is the verdict of the jury?"
Sr. Marcella Fabing, C.S.J. is on the staff at Christ the King Passionist Retreat Center, Citrus Heights, California.