Reflection on Today’s Daily Readings by Fr. Bertrand Buby, SM
Scripture: Lectionary # 372. II Kings 19:9-11.14-21. 31-35.36. Psalm
48:2-3,3-4,10-11. Matthew 7:6.12-14:
Hezekiah (720-692 B.C.) was a righteous king of Judah who trusted in the
Lord and listened to the prophet Isaiah. Usually the King had a prophet
who advised him on matters of law, politics, and covenant. It was Hezekiah
who purified the nation of any idol worship including some of which his
father King Ahaz had introduced. It was he who even destroyed the brazen
serpent of Moses. By listening to the classical prophet Isaiah he was
spared the taking over of Jerusalem by Sennacherib, the King of Assyria.
The Talmud speaks highly of him as righteous and even worthy of being the
We read of Sennacherib sending the King a letter about the invasion of
Jerusalem. Hezekiah turns to God in prayer to plead for the holy city. His
prayer is answered as some type of disease or deadly affliction wipes out
one hundred and eighty-five thousand of Assyrians in their camp outside
Jerusalem. Our Psalm response and the content of the Psalm (48) fits the
prayer and the situation of Hezekiah: "God upholds his city
(Jerusalem/Zion) forever.(v.9). Quite appropriately the Psalm is about
Zion, the holy center and city of Jerusalem. God powefully protects the
city and the sanctuary where the ark of the covenant is. The song is
similar to an epic which encapsulates the wonder, the awe, and the majesty
of God who is the real King over Israel and Judah. The presence of God as
King extends to the surroundings of the holy city even to its towers and
walls. The hostile army of Sennacherib is overwhelmed at the fortifications
of the city and the presence of so powerful a protector, God himself. They
die and they flee.
Jesus gives us his living voice in the short sayings we hear this day. He
advises us to be protective of the sacred both places and persons. Revere
the holy things of God's Temple. Then make sure you observe the "golden
rule" of doing to others what you would want them to do for you. Yes, the
road is narrow and so, too, is the gate that leads into the realm of God.
So we pray, "Jesus, you are the Way and your words are alive with truth.
You are the one who gives us life, sustains it within us, and bring us to
eternal life. Help us to trust in your promises and to be faithful to our
baptismal covenant. Amen."
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