AD SENSE

12th Week, Thursday, Jun 25th

2 Kings 24:8-17 / Matthew 7:21-29
Babylon attacks Judah a first time: Many Jews were led into exile.

In spite of Josiah’s efforts to reform Judah, in spite of Jeremiah’s warnings to Judah, the people continued to drag their feet. Finally, the day came in 597 b.c. when Babylonian armies entered Judah and brought the nation to its knees. Thousands of its finest craftsmen, smiths, and soldiers were led off into exile in Babylon. One might think that this attack by Babylon would bring the people to their senses, but it didn’t. Some even rejoiced, saying in effect, “The city and the Temple are still intact. See, God is protecting his chosen people.”
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Do we sometimes become complacent because we are God’s people? How ready are we to reform when we see that things in our lives stand in need of reform? “When we lay our sins at the feet of God, it feels as if we have taken wings.” Eugenie de Guerin (adapted)
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The word "rebellion" means an act of violent or open resistance to an established government or ruler.

In the Old Testament, we see this happening countless of times and the price that was paid for it.

The people of God rebelled against God insistently despite God sending prophet after prophet to call them to repentance.

Because of that, the Northern Kingdom of Israel was annihilated in 721BC, and yet the kingdom of Judah thought it would never happen to them.

But in the 1st reading, we heard how the Babylonians finally took Jerusalem and sent the king and the nobles and the skilled workers into exile to Babylon.

Yet the lesson was not learnt and later the Temple of Solomon was eventually razed to the ground, with not even one stone on another.
So are we learning anything from this lesson? We have to be aware that rebellion lurks in our hearts and we want to be independent and free from any obligations to God. Listening to the Word of God and acting on it means to be obedient to the will of God.

We will certainly remember what Samuel told Saul in 1 Samuel 15:22-23 Is the pleasure of the Lord God in holocausts and sacrifices or in obedience to the Lord God? Yes, obedience is better than sacrifice, submissiveness better than the fat of rams. Rebellion is the sin of sorcery, presumption a crime of teraphim. Let us pray that we will build our lives on the rock of God's love and follow His ways and do His will.
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Thursday June 25

Thursday of 12th Week of Ordinary Time

DOING THE FATHER’S WILL

Introduction
The last kings of Judah did not seek God’s kingdom and lost their earthly kingdom. “Not those who say, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom, but one who does the will of my Father.” We are familiar with Jesus’ words, but do we follow them? Do we build on rock, that is, follow Jesus, or do we follow ourselves and our whims and so build on sand?

Opening Prayer
Lord our God,
your Son Jesus Christ challenges us
to honor you not only with our lips
but also in our hearts and with our deeds.
Help us to respond to his word
with all that is in us
and with him to seek your will
in all we do.
Grant us this through Christ our Lord.


Commentary
In today’s reading from Kings, one of the saddest chapters in the history of God’s people is recounted. The previous invasion of the Assyrians had taught Israel a sad lesson, but with the coming of the Babylonians a century or so later, every shade of past glory vanished. The Babylonian king, Nebuchadnezzar, attacked and destroyed Jerusalem, deported its citizens, including the king, his mother, and the royal entourage. The temple and palace treasuries were pillaged and thousands of Jews deported. Imperial power may explain some of this; religious infidelity, much more.
The lesson of today’s Gospel is well illustrated in the sixth- century fall of Jerusalem. It is not sufficient to invoke the Lord’s name with the idea of manipulating his will. Nor is it sufficient to go through the motions of religious cult. It is only the house built on solid rock that survives. This had been the message of the prophets for centuries, but the warning had not been heeded.
Nothing in life that is valuable lasts without attention. No lasting goal is attained without effort. The Israelites learned the hard way that there is no sure and easy way to survive. There is a lesson here for all of us. We ignore it to our own grief.

Points to Ponder
The biblical reason for Jerusalem’s fall
Those who say “Lord, Lord”
The house built on rock.

Intercessions
– That we may not just hear and know the word of God but act accordingly and enthusiastically, we pray:
– That the Lord may be the rock in whom we put our trust and on whom we build our lives, that our faith may be rich and meaningful, we pray:
– That our friendships may be firm and reliable, we pray:

Prayer over the Gifts
Lord our God,
this bread and this wine are signs
that we want to do your will.
Give us your Son to go with us
the loyal road to you and to people.
For you are our God for ever and ever.

Prayer after Communion
Lord God, our rock,
we want to build our lives on you
by the power of Jesus your Son.
Through him, make us strong enough
to keep on our feet when the rains of sorrow come,
and the floods of trials rise,
and when the storm winds
of doubt and fear blow in us,
for you are our firm rock for ever.

Blessing

We want our life to be meaningful, to give direction to it. Let it be the direction given to it by God, by Jesus and his gospel. Let us with Jesus seek God’s will in all we do, for then we are sure our life is built on rock, solid and consistent. May God fill you with his blessing: the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.