Tuesday, July 6, 2010
For you tithe mint and dill and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness. These you ought to have done, without neglecting the others. Matthew 23:23
The heat is on. Cities along the East Coast will see 100 degrees or more today for the first time in several years. Early July sun is blistering to bodies and minds. We are trying to figure out what to do so as not to get heat stroke but to still enjoy the day. And yet most of us worry about our selves, keeping cool and living through the heat, but few worry about neighbors and the elderly who cannot fend for themselves and may not be able to deal with the heat.
Jesus was on the war path with the religious leaders of his day. He knew they worried more about looking good than real community service, about good liturgy than real mercy, and piety rather than real compassion. On a day like today it is easy to be scorched anew by Jesus' challenges. Have we done enough mercy, justice and peace?
Have we really cared or did we just put on a good show?
Today, more than surviving the heat, I want to challenge myself to do justice and live mercifully in every moment. Not so easy to do when surrounded by family. Not so easy to do when hot and overheated. But for today anyway, I want to make justice and mercy the goal. On a day when every one will be aching for mercy may we be the agents of a cup of cool water and the hand of compassion.