25 June – Wednesday in the Twelfth Week of Ordinary Time
2 Kings 22:8-13. 23:1-3
The high priest Hilkiah said to Shaphan the secretary, ‘I have found the Book of the Law in the Temple of the Lord.’’’ And Hilkiah gave the book to Shaphan, who read it. Shaphan the secretary went to the king and reported to him as follows, ‘Your servants’ he said ‘have melted down the silver which was in the Temple and have handed it over to the masters of works attached to the Temple of the Lord.’ Then Shaphan the secretary informed the king, ‘Hilkiah the priest has given me a book’; and Shaphan read it aloud in the king’s presence.
On hearing the contents of the Book of the Law, the king tore his garments, and gave the following order to Hilkiah the priest, Ahikam son of Shaphan, Achbor son of Micaiah, Shaphan the secretary and Asaiah the king’s minister: ‘Go and consult the Lord, on behalf of me and the people, about the contents of this book that has been found. Great indeed must be the anger of the Lord blazing out against us because our ancestors did not obey what this book says by practising everything written in it.’
The king then had all the elders of Judah and of Jerusalem summoned to him, and the king went up to the Temple of the Lord with all the men of Judah and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, priests, prophets and all the people, of high or low degree. In their hearing he read out everything that was said in the book of the covenant found in the Temple of the Lord. The king stood beside the pillar, and in the presence of the Lord he made a covenant to follow the Lord and keep his commandments and decrees and laws with all his heart and soul, in order to enforce the terms of the covenant as written in that book. All the people gave their allegiance to the covenant.
Jesus said, ‘Beware of false prophets who come to you disguised as sheep but underneath are ravenous wolves. You will be able to tell them by their fruits. Can people pick grapes from thorns, or figs from thistles? In the same way, a sound tree produces good fruit but a rotten tree bad fruit. A sound tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor a rotten tree bear good fruit. Any tree that does not produce good fruit is cut down and thrown on the fire. I repeat, you will be able to tell them by their fruits.’
You will be able to tell them by their fruits.
When applying for jobs, résumés are a must. Being a list of our experience, posts and accomplishments, they are written by the applicant to make themselves look great. Résumés however, can be extremely embellished. This results in many employers taking into account testimonials. Prospective employers rely on these to gauge if others really see us in the same way we wrote about ourselves in the résumés. They have to complement each other. Testimonials which run contrary to the résumés only cast doubt on the applicant.
King Josiah of Judah in today’s first reading follows two blasphemous forebears. They did not rule as kings of God’s chosen people ought to. Instead they rejected the Lord. Their conversion to pagan gods and idols was a sign of their desire to be great and forge legacies independent from Yahweh. On the other hand, Josiah was a faithful king who even made restitution for the sins of his fathers by establishing a new covenant with God and bringing the people back to Him.
By virtue of the multitude they led into idolatry, Josiah’s fathers might have thought their places in history were secured. But how much is written of them in the book of kings? They got barely a quarter of what Josiah is allotted and it hardly flattering material. As for Josiah, his was a glowing review and an honoured position in history.
A quote from a Star Trek movie goes “Don’t try to be a great man. Just be a man, and let history make its own judgements.” Part of being “a man” is doing the right thing. Others will see these deeds. They will recognize the good fruits give testimony to the trees that bore them. My sisters and brothers, what kind of testimonial will we be getting? Will it appeal to the Judge of all men?
(Today’s reflection by Aloysius Ting)
Prayer: We pray that the mark we leave on the world will be the sign of the Cross.
Thanksgiving: We give thanks to the Lord for those who give us feedback and help us to improve.
26 June, Thu – 2 Kings 24:8-17; Matthew 7:21-29
27 June, Fri – 2 Kings 25:1-12; Matthew 8:1-4
28 June, Sat – Lamentations 2:2. 10-14; Matthew 8:5-17 – Memorial of St Irenaeus
Vigil of Sts Peter and Paul – Acts 3:1-10; Galatians 1:11-20; John 21:15-19
29 June, Sun – Acts 12:1-11; 2 Timothy 4:6-8. 17-18; Matthew 16:13-19 – Soleminty of Peter and Paul, Apostles
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