Alleluia: Imperative Mood

Monday of the Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time
July 18, 2022

Today’s Readings

https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/071822.cfm

Alleluia, alleluia.
If today you hear God’s voice,
soften your hearts.

Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, the readings heighten the familiar imperative of our Alleluia Verse with several more injunctions:

  • Hear
  • Soften
  • Arise
  • Answer 
  • Do
  • Love
  • Walk

God is not shy in telling us what to do in order to grow in holiness – in mutual relationship with God.

We have to DO something, to be responsive in order to unite with God. We can’t be just passive lumps of inactive devotion.

Don’t Be a Spiritual Couch Potato

Each instruction has its own vitality which is meant, in turn, to vitalize our spirits and to make us agents of the Holy One in the world.


Our first reading carries this message clearly to the people of Micah’s time. It’s not about contrived sacrifice. It’s about love and compassion.

With what shall I come before the LORD,
and bow before God most high?
Shall I come before him with burnt offerings,
with calves a year old?
Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams,
with myriad streams of oil?
Shall I give my first-born for my crime,
the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?
You have been told, O Creature, 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.

Micah 6: 6-8

The scribes and Pharisees of Jesus’s time demand a sign before they will listen. Jesus says the only sign they will get is to remember that the Ninevites listened when Jonah delivered God’s message. 

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.

Matthew 12:42

We don’t have a Micah or a Jonah coaching us to holiness. What we have is the Word present to us in the Gospel and in the community of faith. That Word reveals itself in the circumstances of our lives to which we must respond by:

Hearing God’s invitation 
Softening our hearts from judgments 
Arising from our self-absorption 
Answering the call to holiness
Doing good
Loving compassionately 
Walking humbly with our God


Poetry: from Rumi

Discard yourself 
and thereby regain yourself. 
Spread the trap of humility 
and ensnare Love.

Music: Act Justly – Pat Barrett

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