The prophet Micah preached to Jerusalem, but he was not from the city. He was an outsider from the farming village of Moresheth in the Judean foothills. You can imagine how the people, priests, and temple prophets received his prophecies of death, doom, pestilence and punishment. I am sure they would have liked to cast him away, tossed outside the city walls.
Where some prophets are rejected because the town knows them too well, e.g., Jeremiah and Jesus, other are rejected because the listeners assume their town of origin automatically dismisses them. In our own day, we too have trouble recognizing and accepting the prophets. They tend to chip away at the edges of our consciences and memory where lies guilt, remorse and regret; and too often, hesitancy to acknowledge our fault and seek reconciliation. They are the things we too should cast away outside the walls of our lives.
After several chapters of promises of punishment upon the people of Jerusalem, Micah reminds us that he is mores so confident in God’s desire that all be saved. The Book of Micah concludes with a collection of confident prayers for deliverance, affirmations of faith, and announcements of salvation. From today’s first reading:
“Who is there like you, the God who removes guilt and pardons sin for the remnant of his inheritance? Who does not persist in anger forever, but delights rather in clemency, and will again have compassion on us, treading underfoot our guilt? You will cast into the depths of the sea all our sins.” (Micah 7:18-19)
Indeed, who is there like our God? When you’re ready, He is there to cast away into the depths of the past all our sins. Today is Saturday when most (if not all) parishes offer the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Take this moment today to cast away your sins.