“I will defend this city to save it, for my own sake and for the sake of David.”
A reading from the second Book of Kings (2 Kings 19:9b – 11.14-21.31-35a.36)
In those days: Sennacherib king of Assyria sent messengers to Hezekiah, saying, “Thus shall you speak to Hezekiah king of Judah: ‘Do not let your God on whom you rely deceive you by promising that Jerusalem will not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria. Behold, you have heard what the kings of Assyria have done to all lands, destroying them utterly. And shall you be delivered?” Hezekiah received the letter from the hand of the messengers, and read it; and Hezekiah went up to the house of the Lord, and spread it before the Lord. And Hezekiah prayed before the Lord, and said: “O Lord the God of Israel, who are enthroned above the cherubim, you are the God, you alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth; you have made heaven and earth. Incline your ear, O Lord, and hear; open your eyes, O LORD, and see; and hear the words of Sennacherib, which he has sent to mock the living God. Of a truth, O Lord, the kings of Assyria have laid waste the nations and their lands, and have cast their gods into the fire; for they were no gods, but the work of men’s hands, wood and stone; therefore they were destroyed. So now, O Lord our God, save us, I beg you, from his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that you, O Lord, are God alone.” Then Isaiah the son of Amoz sent to Hezekiah, saying, “Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: Your prayer to me about Sennacherib king of Assyria I have heard. This is the word that the Lord has spoken concerning him: “She despises you, she scorns you — the virgin daughter of Zion; she wags her head behind you — the daughter of Jerusalem.” For out of Jerusalem shall go forth a remnant, and out of Mount Zion a band of survivors. The zeal of the Lord will do this. Therefore thus says the Lord concerning the king of Assyria, He shall not come into this city or shoot an arrow there, or come before it with a shield or cast up a siege mound against it. By the way that he came, by the same he shall return, and he shall not come into this city, says the Lord. For I will defend this city to save it, for my own sake and for the sake of my servant David.” And that night the angel of the Lord went forth, and slew a hundred and eighty- five thousand in the camp of the Assyrians. Then Sennacherib king of Assyria departed, and went home, and dwelt at Nineveh.
The word of the Lord.
RESPONSORIAL PSALM Psalm 48:2-3ab.3cd-4.10-11 (R. see 9cd)
R/. God establishes his city forever.
Great is the Lord and highly to be praised
in the city of our God.
His holy mountain rises in beauty,
the joy of all the earth. R.
Mount Sion, in the heart of the North,
the city of the Mighty King!
God, in the midst of its citadels,
has shown himself its stronghold. R.
R/. God establishes his city forever.
Your merciful love, O God,
we ponder in your temple.
Your praise, O God, like your name,
reaches the ends of the earth.
Your right hand is filled with saving justice. R.
ALLELUIA John 8:12
Alleluia. I am the light of the world, says the Lord; he who follows me will have the light of life. Alleluia.
“Whatever you wish that men would do to you, do so to them.”
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew (Matthew 7:6. 12-14)
At that time: Jesus said to his disciples, “Do not give dogs what is holy; and do not throw your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under foot and turn to attack you. So whatever you wish that men would do to you, do so to them; for this is the law and the prophets. Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is easy, that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard, that leads to life, and those who find it are few.”
The Gospel of the Lord.
Today religion seems to be engaged in marketing and selling gods than living and proclaiming the goodness of their God! Expressions like ‘enter through the narrow door’, ‘take up the cross and follow me’ and ‘in everything do to others as you would have them do to you’ do not fascinate anyone anymore. When the world is fiercely entering into a ‘super express way’, who wishes to be confined to the narrow way? But Jesus is very clear that abandoning the road trodden by him will put us on a super express way that leads to perdition. Committing to do what Jesus did for us and living life of love that he came to give us will set us on the path to eternal life in him. May we choose the path to his kingdom!