12th Week in Ordinary Time
1st Reading: 2 K 24:8–17
Jehoiachin was eighteen years old when he succeeded his father, and he reigned for three months in Jerusalem. His mother was Nehushta, daughter of Elnathan of Jerusalem. Jehoiachin treated Yahweh badly, as his father had done.
At that time, the officials of Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, came to attack Jerusalem, surrounding the city. Nebuchadnezzar came while the city was being besieged by his men.
Jehoiachin, king of Judah, surrendered together with his mother, his servants, his leaders and the palace officials. It was the eighth year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar. Nebuchadnezzar captured them and he took away the treasures of the House of Yahweh and of the king’s house. He also destroyed all the objects of gold which Solomon, king of Israel, had made for the sanctuary of Yahweh. So the word Yahweh had spoken, was fulfilled.
Nebuchadnezzar carried off into exile all the leaders and prominent men, the blacksmiths and lock-smiths, all the men of valor fit for war. A total of ten thousand were exiled to Babylon. Only the poorest sector of the population was left. Nebuchaddnezzar also carried away Jehoiachin, with his mother, his wives, the ministers of the palace, and the prominent men of the land.
So all the prominent people, numbering seven thousand, the blacksmiths, numbering a thousand, and all the men fit for war were deported to Babylon by the king of Babylon.
He made Mattaniah, Jehoiachin’s uncle, king of Jerusalem, in place of Jehoiachin. And he changed his name to Zede¬kiah.
Gospel: Matthew 7:21-29
Jesus said to his disciples, “Not everyone who says to me: Lord! Lord! will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my heavenly Father. Many will say to me on that day, ’Lord, Lord, did we not speak in your name? Did we not cast out devils and perform many miracles in your name?’ Then I will tell them openly: ‘I have never known you; away from me, you evil people!’
“So, then, anyone who hears these words of mine and acts accordingly is like a wise man, who built his house on rock. The rain poured, the rivers flooded, and the wind blew and struck that house, but it did not collapse because it was built on rock. But anyone who hears these words of mine and does not act accordingly, is like a fool who built his house on sand. The rain poured, the rivers flooded, and the wind blew and struck that house; it collapsed, and what a terrible fall that was!”
When Jesus had finished this discourse, the crowds were struck by the way he taught, because he taught with authority unlike their teachers of the Law.
Meister Eckhart wrote, “When St. Paul had done a lot of talking to the Lord, and the Lord had reason much with him, that produced nothing, until he surrendered his will, and said: ‘Lord, what do you want me to do?’ Then the Lord showed him clearly what he ought to do. So too, when the angel appeared to our Lady, nothing either she or he had to say would ever have made her the Mother of God, but as soon as she gave up her own will, at that moment she became a true mother of the everlasting Word and she conceived God immediately, who became her son by nature. Nor can anything make a true human being except giving up one’s will.”
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