Immersed in Christ: June 25, 2020
Thursday of the Twelfth Week in Ordinary Time
The Responsorial Psalm vividly describes the invasion and destruction of God’s holy city. Still it encourages us to keep praying, “For the glory of your name, O Lord, deliver us” (Psalm 79).
2 Kings 24: 8-17 records the beginning of the end for Jerusalem and Judah — at least until the end of the Babylonian exile.
Jehoiachin became king of Judah, but “he did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, just as his father had done.” The predictable took place: King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon besieged Jerusalem, took Jehoiachin prisoner, and
carried off all the treasures of the house of the Lord, and … carried away all Jerusalem, all the officials, all the warriors, ten thousand captives, all the artisans and the smiths; no one remained, except the poorest people of the land.
When we see the history of God’s People in “fast forward,” we wonder that they could be so stupid! Every time they abandon the way God taught them, they bring disaster on themselves. But they never seem to learn.
Before we get too judgmental, we should ask what we ourselves have learned — as individuals and as a nation. Do we clearly see that by pursuing the false values and shortsighted goals of our culture we are destroying ourselves and the way of life we cherish? Do we see greed and unrestrained sexual indulgence as unpatriotic? Do we call government cover-ups, “spin” and foreign policies of exploitation and violence acts of treason that betray the common good of the nation? Do we know that prosperity and peace are unattainable over the long run without observance of God’s law? If not, we are as blind to the lessons of history as the Jews were.
In Matthew 7: 21-29 Jesus warns us:
Everyone who hears these words of mine and does not act on them will be like a foolish man who built his house on sand…. It fell — and great was its fall!
Does that make us read and reflect on God’s word as if the quality of our lives depended on it? Does it makes us want to minister to others like rescue workers after a hurricane or during a flood? Do we really believe that if we love others and want them to be happy, the best thing we can do for them is teach them to know and love God? Do we even minister to our own children this way, convinced this is more important than providing them with a money-making education?
If we are failing, the Scripture still encourages us to pray, “For the glory of your name, O Lord, deliver us.”
Initiative: Be a priest. Offer people what they really need for happiness.