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The Everyday Prayer

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

Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

I am the good shepherd,
my sheep listen to my voice,
and they become
one flock and one fold.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

2 Kings 24,8-17

Jehoiachin was eighteen years old when he came to the throne, and he reigned for three months in Jerusalem. His mother's name was Nehushta daughter of Elnathan of Jerusalem. He did what is displeasing to Yahweh, just as his father had done. At that time the troops of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon advanced on Jerusalem, and the city was besieged. Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon advanced on the city and his generals laid siege to it. Jehoiachin king of Judah-he, his mother, his retinue, his nobles and his officials -- then surrendered to the king of Babylon, and the king of Babylon took them prisoner in the eighth year of his reign. The latter carried off all the treasures of the Temple of Yahweh and the treasures of the palace and broke up all the golden furnishings which Solomon king of Israel had made for the sanctuary of Yahweh, as Yahweh had foretold. He carried all Jerusalem off into exile, all the nobles and all the notables, ten thousand of these were exiled, with all the blacksmiths and metalworkers; only the poorest people in the country were left behind. He deported Jehoiachin to Babylon, as also the king's mother, his officials and the nobility of the country; he made them all leave Jerusalem for exile in Babylon. All the men of distinction, seven thousand of them, the blacksmiths and metalworkers, one thousand of them, all the men capable of bearing arms, were led off into exile in Babylon by the king of Babylon. The king of Babylon deposed Jehoiachin in favour of his paternal uncle Mattaniah, whose name he changed to Zedekiah.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

I give you a new commandment,
that you love one another.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The kingdom of Judah escaped the invasion of Assyria in 701 B.C., after experiencing a period of recovery, thanks to Josiah’s religious reform. Now the kingdom will meet its end. The text refers to King Jehoiachin, who was only 18 years old, and in the hands of his mother, Nehushta. He led a corrupt a life which started under his father’s reign: "He did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, just as his father had done." This shows how the grip of corruption comes from being distant from the Lord. There is a connection between the abandonment of God’s Law and corruption, which roots itself more and more in the life of the city. This is an experience that marks Israel’s history and that the two books of Kings emphasize particularly. But it is also an experience in our own times: Abandoning God leads to the affirmation of ourselves, of our own groups, to the point of violence, especially toward the weak and poor. This episode also shows the capitulation of the king and the entire city of Jerusalem, which becomes impoverished and subjugated to the powerful Babylonian kingdom. Nebuchadnezzar—it is around 597 B.C.—besieges Jerusalem, and without waiting too long, sees King Jehoiachin surrender and give himself up. The passage does not describe any effort of faith or prayer to the Lord to defend his people—a very different situation from Hezekiah who had run to the temple to pray to the Lord when faced with the threat of the Assyrian king. Now, in a city prey to corruption, the king leaves and surrenders himself readily to the enemy king together with his entire court. Nebuchadnezzar enters the city despoiling its treasures and deporting the entire leadership class to Babylonia. The passage notes sadly how only "the poorest people of the land" were left in Jerusalem. And the Babylonian king installed Jehoiachin’s uncle Mattaniah as king, making him change his name to Zedekiah. It is the sad ending of a king who after abandoning the Lord must also abandon his city and be deported, dominated by his enemy.

Memory of the Church

Calendar of the week
Sunday, 19 November
Liturgy of the Sunday
Monday, 20 November
Prayer for peace
Tuesday, 21 November
Memory of the Mother of the Lord
Wednesday, 22 November
Memory of the Saints and the Prophets
Thursday, 23 November
Memory of the Church
Friday, 24 November
Memory of Jesus crucified
Saturday, 25 November
Sunday Vigil
Sunday, 26 November
Liturgy of the Sunday