Tag Archives: Book of Kings

12th Week in Ordinary Time


June 24 SUN THE NATIVITY OF SAINT JOHN THE BAPTIST
Solemnity
Is 49:1-6/Acts 13:22-26/Lk 1:57-66, 80 (587)

25 Mon Weekday (Twelfth Week in Ordinary Time)
2 Kgs 17:5-8, 13-15a, 18/Mt 7:1-5 (371) Pss IV

26 Tue Weekday
2 Kgs 19:9b-11, 14-21, 31-35a, 36/Mt 7:6, 12-14 (372)

27 Wed Weekday
[Saint Cyril of Alexandria, Bishop and Doctor of the Church]
2 Kgs 22:8-13; 23:1-3/Mt 7:15-20 (373)

28 Thu Saint Irenaeus, Bishop and Martyr
Memorial
2 Kgs 24:8-17/Mt 7:21-29 (374)

29 Fri SAINTS PETER AND PAUL, APOSTLES
Solemnity
Vigil: Acts 3:1-10/Gal 1:11-20/Jn 21:15-19 (590)
Day: Acts 12:1-11/2 Tm 4:6-8, 17-18/Mt 16:13-19 (591) Pss Prop

30 Sat Weekday
[The First Martyrs of the Holy Roman Church;
Lam 2:2, 10-14, 18-19/Mt 8:5-17 (376)

1st and 2nd Kings are Old Testament books that relate the history of the Jewish people after the time of Judges when Israel was ruled by kings, but they are not historical accounts as history is written today. Prophets like Elijah and Isaiah have an important part of play in these accounts. However grim and violent the accounts may see, the destiny of Israel is in God’s hands,. We might see them too much like the violent stories of today and turn away from them, but they’re reminders that our destiny is in God’s hands, no matter how bad our times are.

The saints we remember this week, Peter and Paul, Irenaeus, Cyril of Alexandria, take us back to the first centuries of the church. God provides leaders for every age, from the first centuries till now. The graces of the prophets are never lacking from age to age.

Maintenance and Mission

We had three readings from the Book of Kings this week at Mass.  A hard book to read because, though it’s a history of the kings who succeed King David, it’s not history as we know it.  For one thing, it’s clearly biased towards the kings of Judea and antagonistic to the kings of Israel, the northern kingdom.

Besides, kings are judged by their loyalty to God, by how they listen to the prophets and how they promote Jewish worship, particularly temple worship. It’s not building programs and political success that count; it’s listening to prophets like Elijah, Elisha and Isaiah.

If they don’t do this, kings are given low marks, and God sends the Assyrians, the Babylonians and other Middle Eastern powers to subjugate his people because of their evil ways.

We hear about two good kings Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of this week Hezekiah and Josiah. ( 2 Kings  17-23) Yet, today’s reading offers a caution about Josiah who restores the down-trodden temple in Jerusalem but forgets something very important.  Absorbed with temple building, he seems to forget its mission.

Someone finds a copy of a book (probably parts of the Book of Deuteronomy) in the ruins of the temple and the king calls the people to come together to listen to God’s word. Before all else, the word of God points out what to do.

Today we still try to balance questions of maintenance and mission, in civil society, in the church and in our personal lives.

It’s not a matter of figuring things out by reason or going by what is or what was. The Book of Kings tells us to listen to God’s word, our living guide to the future.