Psalm 79: 1b-2, 3-5, 8, 9 “…For the glory of your name, O Lord, deliver us.....”
Matthew 7: 21-29 “…’Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,” will enter the Kingdom of heavern, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven…’…”
St. Irenaeus (120 – 202), was brought up under the tutelage of Bishop St. Polycarp, who lived during the time of St. John, the apostle. Irenaeus grew in piety and wisdom as he absorbed all he could from this holy man. He was very bright and he used his intelligence to learn the paths of error taken by those who misrepresented the Truths of our Faith, especially the eastern gnostics and philosophers. Eventually, he was sent to help Bishop St. Pothinus of Lyons defend the faith. The Bishop was very grateful for his help, since he was getting up in age. Bishop Pothinus was eventually martyred for his faith and St. Irenaeus was made Bishop of Lyons. The Christian persecutors thought their troubles were over as they did not know St. Irenaeus’ skill. But, instead he continued to win more people over to the Faith, as he cleared up the erroneous teachings which permeated the culture. Twenty five years later he too was martyred for his Faith. His work, “Adversus Haereses, Against the Heresies” is his most famous work.
The overarching theme in today’s readings has to do with obedience. We learn that the three month reign of King Jehoiachin ends with the takeover by Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon. “He (Jehoiachin) did evil in the sight of the LORD, just as his forebears had done. And Jesus tells us in the Gospel reading that He will say “I never knew you. Depart from me you evildoers.” What do we do to avoid this outcome? Jesus says, “Everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock.” Despite wind and rain the house stands.
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