thoughts and observations on the daily readings
Monday of the 12th Week in Ordinary Time
Readings may be found here
Second Kings outlines the tragic fate of the break-away Northern Kingdom of Israel. The tribes there suffered conquest and exile, thereafter disappearing from history and leaving the Kingdom of Judah alone to carry on the legacy of the Chosen People. As this passage makes clear, however, the Northern Tribes really destroyed themselves long before the King of Assyria marched on their land. They had forgotten who they were as the people of God. they abandoned the Lord, ignored the warnings of the prophets, and oppressed and exploited their own people.
This kind of willful ignorance – blindness to the truth – is dangerous. Jesus offers a timely warning today in the Gospel of Matthew, reminding us of the temptation for people to see the world through the prism of our own ego and self-interest. How easy and dangerous it is to condemn the other and ignore our own failures and sins.