Sunday Vigil

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Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Whoever lives and believes in me
will never die.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

2 Chronicles 27, 1-9

Jotham was twenty-five years old when he came to the throne and he reigned for sixteen years in Jerusalem. His mother's name was Jerushah daughter of Zadok.

He did what Yahweh regards as right, just as his father Uzziah had done. Only he did not enter Yahweh's sanctuary. But the people continued to do wrong.

It was he who built the Upper Gate of the Temple of Yahweh and carried out considerable work on the wall of the Ophel.

He also built towns in the highlands of Judah and built forts and towers in the wooded areas.

He also went to war against the king of the Ammonites and defeated them; and the Ammonites had to give him a hundred talents of silver, ten thousand kor of wheat and ten thousand of barley that year. And the Ammonites paid him the same amount, the second and third years afterwards.

Jotham became powerful because he kept an unswerving course before Yahweh his God.

The rest of the history of Jotham, all his wars and his policy, are recorded in the Book of the Kings of Israel and Judah.

He was twenty-five years old when he came to the throne and he reigned for sixteen years in Jerusalem.

Then Jotham fell asleep with his ancestors, and was buried in the City of David; his son Ahaz succeeded him.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

“He did what was right in the eyes of the LORD.” This statement opens the brief narrative on the kingdom of Jotham. He - the Chronicler notes - obeyed the law of the Lord, like his father Uzziah did. But unlike his father, Jotham did not enter the sanctuary; he respected the provisions about the service of the temple and did not break the prerogatives of the priests. In fact, he wanted to restore the gate of the temple, probably the one called Benjamin’s, to make it even more worthy of worship to the Lord. For this he received the blessing. Jotham appears as a good king who obeys God and does useful work for the kingdom. This is the meaning of the fortifications on the southern hill of Ophel and the building of towns, castles and towers in the territory of the kingdom. The military successes - which however, are barely mentioned - are presented with respect to the collection of goods. The Chronicler notes purposefully: “So Jotham became strong because he ordered his ways before the Lord his God” (v. 6). The description of Jotham’s death and funeral, and the indication of his successor follow the usual form. In contrast to previous accounts of the reigns of kings in which positive and negative periods alternated, Jotham is presented in a completely positive way, as was Solomon. If the previous kings were not examples to be imitated, the brief account of the life of Jotham is different, better in the eyes of the community where the author lives. True Israelites, true believers, whether king or subject, are those who for whom nothing is more important than loving the Lord, living constantly in his presence and shaping their plans to God’s will. Jotham, however, did not attribute the successes to himself, nor did he become proud as his father did, but he remained humble before the Lord. It is an ideal that is offered to all believers, beyond the position that they occupy in society. The Chronicler wants to emphasize that both the king and each of the citizens are called to obey the Lord and give glory to him alone.