Wednesday of the Twelfth Week in Ordinary Time
(II Kings 22:8-13.23:1-3; Matthew 7:15-20)
A covenant is a sacred contract in which both sides pledge loyalty to another. In Old Testament times they are made with stated imprecations against the party that breaks the agreements. For this reason in the first reading today the king takes serious the news his people have been lacking in their covenantal agreement with the Lord
The king in the passage is curiously never mentioned by name. He is Josiah who reigned in Judah from 640 – 609 B.C. Josiah tries to reform the people according to God’s law but is either killed in battle or assassinated (the record is unclear) before fulfilling his mission. The prophet Jeremiah praises Josiah as a model king who, in the words of one commentator, “lived simply, acted justly….and defended the poor.”
It is hard but not impossible to act righteously in times when people do not seem to care. King Josiah provides a model for us today when greed is rife and non-marital sexual gratification is considered as normal as eating chocolate mousse.