June 25, 2020 – Thursday of the 12th Week in Ordinary Time
Click here for the readings (http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/062520.cfm)
Jerusalem fell, trampled upon and destroyed. A powerful nation invaded the Kingdom, trampled the holy objects for the Sanctuary of Yahweh, officials and the people were exiled to Babylon.
Was this God’s desire that Jerusalem will be destroyed? That the Temple will be blasphemed? That that people will be slaughtered and many exiled to a foreign land as prisoners?
No. Of course not. This was not God’s desire. In fact, at the very beginning of the foundation of the kingdom of Israel the Lord guided the people to abide in the covenant and in the words of the Lord. Yahweh sent prophets to become heralds and to remind the people and leaders to live according to God’s desire. Thus, through the covenant and the commandments of God the people shall find the fullness of life.
However, history tells us how the people and their leaders turned their back against God when they have become rich and powerful. They forgot that God gave them those blessings. Jehoiachin, the king of Jerusalem just like his predecessors turned against God also. History described Jehoiachin as a godless tyrant. He completely abandoned the covenant and trampled the commandments of God in the way he lived his life as a man and as a king.
Jehoiachin was portrayed to have an incestuous relationship with his mother, even daughter-in-law and with his step-mother. He was into a habit of murdering his men for pleasure and later just to violate their wives and grab their properties.
Thus, instead of strengthening his army, instead of caring and providing better opportunities for his people, and asking the guidance from the Lord to lead the kingdom, he was rather busy pleasuring himself at the expense of his own people. As a result, when an enemy attacked them, he was completely overwhelmed because he was not prepared.
Although God was all along with his people, yet, the people left the Lord out of their lives. Hence, what happened in Jerusalem was not merely a punishment but a result of complacency, corruption and unfaithfulness.
All kinds of threats and dangers will always be in our lives. Big and small. Surprising and overwhelming. Just like this Corona Virus Pandemic. It is a big threat, a surprising and an overwhelming one that many countries now find it difficult to defeat.
In our individual lives too there are threats and dangers. And what we are invited to do is to invest into something that will somehow prepare us or at least to have a good ground in case the worst will hit.
This is what Jesus told us in the Gospel today. “Everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock. The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and buffeted the house. But it did not collapse; it had been set solidly on rock.”Tweet
Jesus speaks of having a good foundation like building a house on rock rather than on sand. What does it mean? Building a house on rock means making myself founded on Jesus. Jesus is the rock, the very foundation of our person and of our faith. Jesus will also be our foundation once we are also ready to accept him and allow him to transform our life.
How do we do it?
It is by listening to his words, living his words and holding on to his promises that we become solid. By listening to God’s words and wisdom then, the more we also become aware of God’s desire for us. This will always assure us because God’s desire for us is always good and will always give life to us.
However, if we decide to build our life on mere human understanding, mere human desires and wants, then, we are like building our house on sand. To settle on these weak foundations, means putting trust on our human inclinations to sin. We know that we are weak and we can easily be driven by our selfish desires and wants. This is the story of Jehoiachin who distanced himself from the Lord and submerged himself into what he only wanted that affected the lives of many.
The Lord invites us today to claim Him as the very foundation of our whole life. The Lord will be our best investment in life who shall deliver and protect us even when the worst will hit us. This also means that Jesus wants us to make him part of our every decision and action. We are being assured by Jesus that when the storms of failures, losses, death, illness, pain, injury, worries and doubts in life will come, then, we have Jesus to hold on and to lean on and his words which will guide us. Thus, if we have Jesus in our life, we will certainly be fine. Hinaut pa.
Jom Baring, CSsR