Friday of the Eleventh Week in Ordinary Time
In the first reading of today’s liturgy from the Second Book of Kings (11:1-4, 9-18, 17-18), we find the story of Joash, the child who was destined to be king, and how he was hidden away in the temple of the Lord for six years to protect him from the wicked Athaliah. Jehoiada the priest unseated Athaliah from the throne and restored Joash as the rightful king. He suppressed the worship of Baal and renewed the covenant between God and his people and between the king and his people. The psalm refrain “The Lord has chosen Zion for his dwelling.” (Ps 132:13) is the Lord’s promise that he will remain with his people. Psalm 132 recalls God’s covenant to David that “Your own offspring I will set upon your throne.”
The entrance antiphon, “O Lord, hear my voice, for I have called to you; be my help. Do not abandon or forsake me, O God, my Savior!” (Cf. Ps 26: 7, 9), could well have been the prayer of Joash or that of his mother. But it is also our prayer as well when we face the mystery of evil in our world, particularly when we witness the lives of innocent children snuffed out in school shootings.
The gospel from Matthew 6:19-23 is Jesus’ familiar reminder to examine where we have placed priorities in our lives: “Where your treasure is, there also will your heart be.” The communion antiphon from Ps 26:4 is an echo of the gospel admonition to “store up treasures in heaven”: “There is one thing I ask of the Lord, only this do I seek: to live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life.” It is also a reminder that Joash found refuge and safety in the temple of the Lord. And while we also seek to dwell in the house of the Lord for all our days, it is the Lord who wishes to make his dwelling among us—a fitting reflection as we approach the altar at communion.
Thought for today: “Where your treasure is, there also will your heart be.” Where have I placed the treasure in my life? To what or to whom is my heart attached?
Reflection by Br. Michael Marcotte, OSB