Riccardi Andrea: on the web

Riccardi Andrea: on social networks

change language
you are in: home - prayer - the everyday prayer contacting usnewsletterlink

Donation Topbar


The Everyday Prayer

printable version

Icon of the Holy Face
Church of Sant'Egidio, Rome

Memory of Saint Leo the Great, bishop of Rome, who led the Church through difficult times.

Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Whoever lives and believes in me
will never die.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

2 Chronicles 21, 1-20

Then Jehoshaphat fell asleep with his ancestors and was buried with them in the city of David; his son Jehoram succeeded him.

Jehoram's brothers, sons of Jehoshaphat, were Azariah, Jehiel, Zechariah, Azariahu, Michael and Shephatiah -- all of them sons of Jehoshaphat king of Israel.

Their father had lavishly given them presents of silver, gold and other valuables as well as fortified towns in Judah; but the throne he bequeathed to Jehoram since he was the first-born.

Jehoram, having taken control of his father's kingdom and secured his own position, put all his brothers to the sword and some officials of Israel too.

Jehoram was thirty-two years old when he came to the throne, and he reigned for eight years in Jerusalem.

He followed the example of the kings of Israel as the House of Ahab were doing, he having married one of Ahab's daughters; and he did what is displeasing to Yahweh.

But Yahweh would not destroy the House of David, because of the covenant which he had made with David, promising to provide him and his sons with a lamp for ever.

In his time Edom threw off the domination of Judah and set up a king for itself.

Jehoram crossed the frontier, and with him his commanders and all his chariots. Under cover of dark, he and his chariot commanders broke through the Edomites surrounding him.

Thus Edom threw off the domination of Judah and has remained free to the present day. Libnah revolted against him at the same time, because he had abandoned Yahweh, God of his ancestors.

What is more, he set up high places in the highlands of Judah, leading the citizens of Jerusalem and the people of Judah into apostasy.

Something written by the prophet Elijah then came into his hands. It said, 'Yahweh, God of your ancestor David, says this, "Since you have not followed the example of your father Jehoshaphat or of Asa king of Judah,

but have followed the example of the kings of Israel and have led Judah and the citizens of Jerusalem into apostasy, just as the House of Ahab has led Israel into apostasy, and have even murdered your brothers, your own family, who were better men than you,

Yahweh is going to afflict your people, your sons, your wives and all your property with a great calamity,

and you yourself with a severe disease affecting your bowels, as a result of which disease, continuing day after day, you will suffer protrusion of your bowels." '

Yahweh then roused the hostility of the Philistines and of the Arabs living near the Cushites against Jehoram.

They invaded Judah, forcing their way into it and carrying off all the property to be found in the king's palace, as well as his sons and his wives, so that he was left no sons at all except his youngest son Jehoahaz.

And after all this, Yahweh afflicted him with an incurable disease of the bowels;

in due time, after about two years, his bowels protruded as a result of his disease and he died in acute pain. His people did not make a funeral pyre for him, as they had for his ancestors.

He was thirty-two years old when he came to the throne and he reigned for eight years in Jerusalem. He passed away unlamented and was buried in the City of David, though not in the tombs of the kings.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

If you believe, you will see the glory of God,
thus says the Lord.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The Chronicler, after mentioning Jehoshaphat’s death, narrates the sad story of his eldest son, Jehoram, who inherits the throne of David. He is the first king of Judah who gets an absolutely negative judgment. He begins his reign terrifying and suppressing the possible pretenders to the throne. Because of his limitless lust for power he slaughters his brothers and also some princes of Israel. As he gets married to Athalia, Ahab’s daughter, we may think that he allies himself to the northern kingdom corrupting the purity of his father’s line. Nonetheless, because of the covenant with David and his descendants, the house is not sentenced to complete ruin. Jehoram’s infidelity to the faith of his fathers causes his political power to weaken. He does react against Edomites’ revolt, but he doesn’t win a complete victory, he only manages to escape when they surround him. Jehoram’s infidelity nullifies Jehoshaphat’s reforms, even Jehoshaphat’s and Asa achievements as regards foreign policy. Jehoram’s behaviour is the exact opposite of his predecessors’. They destroyed ‘high places’ or at least they didn’t build new ones; Jehoram keeps on setting up high places, leading his people into apostasy, that the Chronicler calls ‘idolatry’ (v. 11). Here the prophet Elijah intervenes to warn him: he delivers a letter with a message of the Lord himself. Jehoram is charged with two crimes: walking in the way of the northern kings and murdering his brothers, who were better than him (v. 13). The divine judgement will be terrible: a great plague will strike his family and all his property just as Jehoram himself will be assailed by an incurable disease. And it happens just like that. Jehoram loses his family and all his property as Philistines and Arabs invade Judah. The invaders penetrate into the heart of the kingdom of Judah, pointing at the royal family and apparently they don’t meet any resistance. Only the youngest son, Jehoahaz, survives. The king is not deprived of the blessing of having descendants. The king is punished by an incurable disease lasting two-years, as Elijah prophesied; and his death is not honoured like his fathers’ death. This is a severe justice for a king who strayed his people from God and led them into idolatry. Decline is unavoidable and inexorable if you do not come back to the Lord with all your heart.

Sunday Vigil