Reading 1 (2 KINGS 24:8-17)

Jehoiachin was eighteen years old when he began to reign,
and he reigned three months in Jerusalem.
His mother’s name was Nehushta,
daughter of Elnathan of Jerusalem.
He did evil in the sight of the LORD,
just as his forebears had done.At that time the officials of Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon,
attacked Jerusalem, and the city came under siege.
Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon,
himself arrived at the city
while his servants were besieging it.
Then Jehoiachin, king of Judah, together with his mother,
his ministers, officers, and functionaries,
surrendered to the king of Babylon, who,
in the eighth year of his reign, took him captive.
And he carried off all the treasures
of the temple of the LORD and those of the palace,
and broke up all the gold utensils that Solomon, king of Israel,
had provided in the temple of the LORD, as the LORD had foretold.
He deported all Jerusalem:
all the officers and men of the army, ten thousand in number,
and all the craftsmen and smiths.
None were left among the people of the land except the poor.
He deported Jehoiachin to Babylon,
and also led captive from Jerusalem to Babylon
the king’s mother and wives,
his functionaries, and the chief men of the land.
The king of Babylon also led captive to Babylon
all seven thousand men of the army,
and a thousand craftsmen and smiths,
all of them trained soldiers.
In place of Jehoiachin,
the king of Babylon appointed his uncle Mattaniah king,
and changed his name to Zedekiah.

Responsorial Psalm (PSALM 79:1B-2, 3-5, 8, 9)

R. (9) For the glory of your name, O Lord, deliver us.
O God, the nations have come into your inheritance;
they have defiled your holy temple,
they have laid Jerusalem in ruins.
They have given the corpses of your servants
as food to the birds of heaven,
the flesh of your faithful ones to the beasts of the earth.
R. For the glory of your name, O Lord, deliver us.
They have poured out their blood like water
round about Jerusalem,
and there is no one to bury them.
We have become the reproach of our neighbors,
the scorn and derision of those around us.
O LORD, how long? Will you be angry forever?
Will your jealousy burn like fire?
R. For the glory of your name, O Lord, deliver us.
Remember not against us the iniquities of the past;
may your compassion quickly come to us,
for we are brought very low.
R. For the glory of your name, O Lord, deliver us.
Help us, O God our savior,
because of the glory of your name;
Deliver us and pardon our sins
for your name’s sake.
R. For the glory of your name, O Lord, deliver us.

Alleluia (JOHN 14:23)

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Whoever loves me will keep my word,
and my Father will love him
and we will come to him.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel (MATTHEW 7:21-29)

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’
will enter the Kingdom of heaven,
but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven.
Many will say to me on that day,
‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name?
Did we not drive out demons in your name?
Did we not do mighty deeds in your name?’
Then I will declare to them solemnly,
‘I never knew you. Depart from me, you evildoers.’“Everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on them
will be like a wise man who built his house on rock.
The rain fell, the floods came,
and the winds blew and buffeted the house.
But it did not collapse; it had been set solidly on rock.
And everyone who listens to these words of mine
but does not act on them
will be like a fool who built his house on sand.
The rain fell, the floods came,
and the winds blew and buffeted the house.
And it collapsed and was completely ruined.”

When Jesus finished these words,
the crowds were astonished at his teaching,
for he taught them as one having authority,
and not as their scribes.


Reflection: In the First Reading (2 Kings 24:8-17), King Nebuchadnezzar seizes Jerusalem and destroys the Temple built by King Solomon. Those who remained have been enslaved to Chaldea in Babylon along with King Jehoichin of Judah who has sinned against God. This event has been known as the Baylonian Captivity, wherein thousands of Jews have been exiled in Babylon. But later on as the Persians under Cyrus the Great conquer the city, the Jews have returned to their country and have decreed to obey the precepts and ordinances of God. In the Gospel (Matthew 7:21-27), Jesus ends his Sermon of the Mount by addressing to the crowds who on their response to his long preaching. He tells them a parable composing two symbols: a wise man with a house on the foundation of rock and a foolish man with a house on the foundation of sand. The wise men refer to those who hear his words and observe them, while the foolish men refer to those who hear his words but do not observe them. Every time we celebrate the Eucharist, the first major part of the celebration is the Liturgy of the Word. Here, we sit down to listen to God’s word testified by his chosen men such as Isaiah, Saint Paul, etc. Then we stand to listen to the Gospel of the Word-made-flesh, our Lord Jesus Christ. And finally, we sit down again to listen to the Homily of the Priest, which is the sermon explaining the message behind the Readings. But do we really live the word of God in our everyday lives? Do we understand the significance of these? Or do we just focus on the humors and jokes mentioned by some Priests? Well, when a Priest wants to tell a funny joke during his Homily, his real purpose is to make the people listen attentively, and he never forgets to add the important reflections of the Scriptures. Yes, most of us don’t want a boring sermon, so it is important for the people to participate actively in the Mass. However, the significant points in the preachings of the Church should not be removed. Above all, every time we go out of the church, we should manifest God’s word everyday. This goes to observing other Traditions such as Prayers, Novenas, Adorations, etc. For if we only practice these devotions by word and not by heart, then we are already built on the foundation of sand. But if we practice them, including the teachings of the Church, both by word and by heart, then we are already built on the foundation of rock. So as we journey down this road, let us always live the teachings of our Lord and obey the divine will.

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