Friday, 17 June 2022 : 11th Week of Ordinary Time (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today as we listened to the words of the Scriptures, we are all reminded to seek the true treasures of our lives, that we cannot find in the world, but in the Lord alone. Through our Scripture passages today, we are reminded that each one of us are called to be righteous and just, and to be good disciples and followers of our Lord, in all the things we say and do in life. We should learn from the past examples highlighted in the Scriptures that we may learn more about how not to live our lives in a sinful manner.

In our first reading today, taken from the Second Book of Kings, we heard of the story of the usurpation of queen Athaliah of Judah, who seized power unlawfully from the House of David, after her son, king Ahaziah of Judah was killed by the actions of Jehu, the one that God had appointed to be king over Israel. The death of Ahaziah prompted Athaliah to attempt seizing power for herself, and she initiated a great purge and elimination of all the heirs of Ahaziah and his relatives, so that she could secure herself in her position of power as the reigning queen of Judah.

However, God intervened and helped the House of David from extermination as He Himself had promised to David that his house would endure and would sit on the throne of Israel forever. He rescued the son of Ahaziah, Joash, who was then hidden with the help of Ahaziah’s sister, from the sight and knowledge of queen Athaliah. Athaliah was likely driven by greed and desire for power, which became her undoing as she committed great sins of murder and others in order to secure for herself the rulership and dominion over the kingdom of Judah.

That was what eventually led to her downfall, as Athaliah ruled Judah illegally and unlawfully, and continuing to promote the pagan worship of Baal and other idols. The time of reckoning and retribution finally came upon Athaliah when the forces loyal to the House of David, including the High Priest, Jehoiada, launched a counter-coup to restore Joash, the descendant and heir of David to his rightful throne. Athaliah was deposed and later on was executed, a justified end to her unlawful rule and the consequence of her crimes.

In our Gospel passage today, we heard of the Lord Jesus speaking to His disciples with regards to finding the treasures that are not of this world. He told them all not to seek the treasures of this world, but to seek rather the true treasures that can be found in the Lord alone. The Lord told His disciples not to seek and store up treasures of this world that can be destroyed by earthly means, and do not last. Instead, the true heavenly treasures that He wanted them all to seek, last for an eternity, and one that will not be lost from them, for those treasures will always be theirs, by God’s assurance.

This is related to what we heard in our first reading today. The example of what happened to Athaliah, her usurpation, reign and ultimate end are reminders for us not to be swayed and blinded by the pursuits for worldly glory and power. It was her greed and desire for power and glory that led her to her ultimate undoing, and those had also led her to committing sins and wicked deeds, in murdering the innocent children of the House of David. Her desire for power blinded her to reason and made her to be paranoid and afraid of losing her influence and hold onto the matters of the world, which led her to the heinous acts.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, this is also a reminder for each one of us that we have to be vigilant against the temptations of our desires, of the many vices and other things that can lead us away from the Lord and His path. These temptations are plenty all around us, and if we are not careful, we may end up being dragged in ever deeper and deeper into the path of darkness and sin, like what Athaliah and many others of our predecessors had experienced. The Lord had reminded us of all these, so that by these reminders we may be more vigilant and have the opportunity to turn away from the often steep and slippery path of sin and darkness. The Lord wants us all to live according to what He had taught us to do, and not in following the whims of our desires and wants.

May the Lord continue to guide us and strengthen us throughout our journey in life, so that we may always be faithful to Him, and that we may also be willing to lead a more Christian life, in obedience to God and His path, and distance ourselves from those things that may lead us down the path of sin and evil. May God empower us all with His Holy Spirit, and the ability to discern with wisdom, the right path in life, and help one another to come to the presence of God with faith. May God bless us always, now and forevermore. Amen.

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