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The good news for the day July 18

Monday of the Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time (395)

First reading:

You have been told, “’Adam-man,’ do what is right, and what the One In Charge directs you to do: just make the right choice, choose loving goodness, and walk humbly with your God.” (Micah 6,8)

Gospel

Some educated men and religious leaders challenged Jesus: “Teacher, we would like to see a sign from you.” He responded, “An bad and treacherous generation looks for a sign, but no sign will be provided—except the sign of Jonah the prophet. (Just as Jonah was in the belly of the whale three days and three nights, so will the Son of Man be in the heart of the earth three days and three nights.) In the end, the men of Nineveh will rise alongside this generation and denounce it; they repented because of the preaching of Jonah; there is a matter greater than Jonah here. In the end, the Queen of the South will rise alongside this generation and denounce it, because she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and there is a matter greater than Solomon here.” (Matthew 12)

The followers of Jesus exit from “this generation.” You have emerged—from the womb-prison of ‘just existing.’ Now re-born, you respond to the call to repent—to defy this generation—and do what God wants you to do. Instead of pursuing your own will, instead of obeying all the motives of society, instead of following what everybody else pressures you to do—you have chosen to do what is right: loving kindness and walking humbly.

You and I are Jonahs— reluctant, in denial and avoidance—called to do what God’s wants—on the run—all the time. Each moment God calls you. You would rather “conform”—do the easy thing, the thing where you don’t get criticized, don’t get laughed at, don’t get called “loser” and evade irresponsibility. Then you find courage, find a new way—and change. You become the sign, the way to go—you die and rise a newly alive “Adam.”

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