Trusting in the God of justice

The Bible Readings for today are: Psalm 62.1–12; Isaiah 31.1–9; Matthew 15.1–20.

Quite a number of the readings have had to do with power and trust. Questions regarding who or what is worthy of our trust and who or what has the power to save or deliver are never far away. Egypt, chariots and horses offer a kind of security (Isa 31) as do extortion, robbery and riches (Ps 62) but Isaiah and the Psalmist warn against resorting to them. Similarly, Jesus takes issue with those of the religious leaders of his day who pervert the requirements of the law for the sake of personal gain.

Isa 31 and Ps 62 enjoin their readers to trust entirely in God who, like a strong rock or fortress, provides true refuge. Yet, this trust in God is not an easy, risk-free option. On the contrary, the world at large often rewards the self-possessed and the ruthless. It is precisely because of this that the biblical writers must cajole, prompt and persuade their readers to put their trust in God.

It is not that God will comply with the wishes of all who trust. The Psalmist has confidence in the justice of God, ‘who repays to all according to their work’.  God can be trusted to do, not what we want but, ultimately, what is right. Waiting for God, trusting in God, then, requires abandoning the ways of evil. The ancient Eucharistic words come to mind: ‘If any are holy, let them come, if any are not, let them repent’.

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