June 23, 2020
by Scott McClure
Creighton University - retired
click here for photo and information about the writer

Tuesday of the Twelfth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 372

2 Kings 19:9b-11, 14-21, 31-35a, 36
Psalm 48:2-3ab, 3cd-4, 10-11
Matthew 7:6, 12-14

Praying Ordinary Time

Weekly Guide for Daily Prayer

Praying As We Age

How difficult it is to tune out the incessant static with which we are bombarded in this world and listen to God's voice. In my experience, this static can be random; disinterested in what we think of it, though no less overwhelming. For me, the pull to be 'plugged in' with my smart phone is a source of this variety of static. It can be pure distraction. A different sort of static, of the kind present today in the Second Book of Kings, is directly interested in sowing the seeds of hopelessness and, ultimately, our demise. This is precisely what Sennacherib of Assyria is seeking in his message to Hezekiah. He seeks to make Hezekiah feel like a fool for his faith.

Perhaps you, too, have been made out unjustly to be 'the fool' in the past. In times like this, it is important to know where we are rooted. Though not a biblical figure, Laocoon of ancient Troy is one who is unjustly made out to be the fool as well. With the Greeks' Trojan horse at the gates, only Laocoon implored his fellow Trojans not to receive it. Despite the sound of his spear against the horse's side revealing that the horse was anything but hollow, the static around him was too loud for others to notice. Though berated, Laocoon was the only one rooted in the truth of the matter.

So, where should we be rooted? Whether being bombarded, like Hezekiah, or being simply distracted with the things of this world, Jesus tells us today in Matthew: Enter through the narrow gate. Hezekiah, upon receiving word from Sennacherib, took all his worries to God, placing them before him and placing his trust in him. Are we not invited to do the same by Jesus? He is the way, the truth and the life. We must be rooted in him with our gaze focused on this narrow gate. With this rootedness, we will be like a tree planted beside the waters that stretches its roots to the stream. It does not fear heat when it comes, its leaves stay green... (Jeremiah 17:8). 

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