2Chr 24:17-25; Ps 89:4,5,29-34; Mt 6:24-34
“Yet, my mercy I will not take from him”
Just as the Psalmist sings of the LORD and his faithfulness, we are called to live in holiness and virtue at a time when men of wealth and position are lusty and lost in the pleasures of life. We too can know of the love King David sings about in today’s psalm. All who seriously enter into a life of prayer and penance know the kindness of the LORD in whom they stand firm. Indeed, the only throne after which we long is the throne of glory in the heavenly court. All of us will struggle to give up our status in society; we must renounce any inheritance and embraced the LORD. Even though many around us are forsaking the law of the LORD and not walking according to his ordinances, we must pray for sinners and love them as Christ loved him. The LORD preserves us his servants from all crime and guilt, and we too can enjoy the constant mercy of the LORD and his faithful love was his only delight. After the protection and kindness of the priest Jehoiada for Joash, the king of Israel forsook the temple and served the sacred poles and idols. For his abandonment of the LORD there was grievous suffering for Joash and all Israel. Yet, the LORD did not give up on his chosen ones. The Lord Jesus warns his disciples not to worry about tomorrow but trust in the Father who knows all your needs, even before you ask. It is the LORD and his faithful care for us that keep us coming here, day after day, so that we might grow in holiness.
Not long after the holy priest Jehoiada died, the princes of Judah came to firm up their alliance with King Joash. They persuaded him to adapt the popular pagan ways of so many of the people. They would not listen to the warnings of the many prophets sent by the LORD. The son of Jehoiada, the priest Zechariah, stood above the people and said to them: “God says, ‘Why are you transgressing the LORD’s commands, so that you cannot prosper? Because you have abandoned the LORD, he has abandoned you.’” Things went from bad to worse as the nobles joined the king to silence the prophet. They stoned Zechariah to death in the court of the LORD’s temple. Such bloodthirsty men only provoked the LORD’s anger, and God punished his people with a small force of Arameans who invaded Judah and Jerusalem. They left King Joash suffering grievously and the king’s servants conspired against him because he conspired against Zechariah. The conspirator becomes the victim of another conspiracy. This is the sad story of Israel’s unfaithfulness, yet the LORD remains faithful to his covenant with his beloved people. This descendant of the beloved King David was buried in the City of David but not in the tombs of the kings. Such betrayal and violence is not completely eliminated from the human family even today. Perhaps a growing and faithful witness of the love of God in Jesus Christ will make justice and peace a reality among the sons and daughters of the LORD.
King Joash could not serve two masters, Baal and the LORD. No disciple of Christ can serve two masters. “He will either hate one and love the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other.” Indeed, we cannot serve God and mammon. The true and faithful servant of the LORD does not worry about anything. Such a one has no fear about the details of life. Indeed, the servant of the LORD knows that life is more than food and the body is more than clothing. If we are to be this kind of servant, we must look at the birds in the sky. We must look at all God’s good creation and there see signs and wonders that reveal his love for us. Indeed, we are the reason all creation came into being. As the story of Genesis explains all the creatures were brought before Adam so that the LORD might give him a companion. Adam named all the creatures, but he found no one among them for his mate. The LORD then took his rib to create a fitting companion, Eve. In the original Garden the Father provided everything for his beloved Adam and Eve. In the new garden of God’s delight the children of Adam and Eve have come to know constant love and care of the Father in his Son, Jesus Christ. Even we who are of little faith are summoned to not worry about our food, clothing or anything else. Indeed, the pagans worry about all such things. We have no need to be concerned about today or tomorrow for that matter, “Sufficient for a day is its own evil.” Indeed to serve the Lord Jesus is to have a level of confidence and security that surprises and puzzles those among whom we sojourn in this world. This gift of faith does not make us careless or ungrateful for the many gifts in creation, nor do we cease to give thanks for all his love in our lives. We know with the Psalmist, and with all the saints in glory that the mercy of Our LORD will not be taken away from us. He is faithful even when we are unfaithful. His faithful love and covenant faithfulness gives us hope in every generation. Such hope is nourished daily on the Bread from Heaven, and we become faithful servants.