12th Week in Ordinary Time
Paulinus of Nola / John Fisher / Thomas More
1st Reading: 2 K 19:9b–11, 14–21, 31–35a, 36
This was because King Sennacherib had heard that Tirhakah, the Cushite king of Egypt, was going out to fight him.
Again Sennacherib sent messengers to Hezekiah with these words, “Say to Hezekiah, king of Judah that his God in whom he trusts may be deceiving him in saying that Jerusalem will not be given into the hands of the king of Assyria. Surely you have heard what the kings of Assyria have done to all the lands they have destroyed! And will you be spared?
Hezekiah took the letter from the messengers, and when he had read it he went to the house of Yahweh where he unrolled the letter and prayed saying, “O Yahweh, God of hosts and God of Israel, enthroned above the cherubim! You alone are God over all the kingdoms of the earth; you have made the heavens and the earth. Give ear, Yahweh, and hear! Open your eyes and see! Listen to all the words of Sennacherib who has sent men to insult the living God! It is true, Yahweh, that the kings of Assyria have laid waste all the countries of the earth. They have thrown their gods into the fire and destroyed them, for they were not true gods but gods made of wood and stone by human hands. Now, O Yahweh our God, save us from his hand and let all the kingdoms of the earth know that you alone, Yahweh, are God.”
Then Isaiah, son of Amoz, sent word to Hezekiah: “You have called upon Yahweh and he has heard your prayer regarding Sennacherib, king of Assyria. This is what Yahweh has spoken against him:
The Virgin Daughter of Zion
Despises and scorns you;
The Daughter of Jerusalem
Shakes her head behind you.
For a remnant will come from Jerusalem and survivors from Mount Zion. The zeal of Yahweh of hosts will accomplish this. That is why Yahweh has said this concerning the king of Assyria: He shall not enter this city nor shoot his arrows. He shall not raise a shield to oppose it nor build a siege ramp against it. He shall leave by the way he came and he shall not enter the city, word of Yahweh. I will protect this city and so save it for my own sake and for the sake of David, my servant. It happened that the angel of Yahweh went out that night and struck one hundred and eighty-five thousand men in the Assyrian camp. When the people rose early next morning there were all the corpses.
So Sennacherib, king of Assyria, departed, returned home and lived in Nineveh.
Gospel: Matthew 7:6, 12-14
Jesus said to his disciples, “Do not give what is holy to the dogs, or throw your pearls to the pigs: they might trample on them and even turn on you and tear you to pieces.
“So, do to others whatever you would that others do to you: there you have the Law and the Prophets.
“Enter through the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many go that way. How narrow is the gate that leads to life and how rough the road; few there are who find it.”
There is all the difference in the world between the way your average neighbor loves you and the way Jesus loves you! There are people from whom I would run a mile if they threatened to love themselves! Many have a strong instinct for self-destruction. We love our neighbors only as well and wisely as we love ourselves, no better, no worse. But Jesus sets another standard!
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