Day 184: Hezekiah Reigns

Introduction to EXILE (with Jeff Cavins)

2 Kings 18:1-12 Hezekiah was King of Judah at the time of the Assyrian siege of the Northern kingdom. He was a faithful king, keeping the Law of the Lord and eliminating idolatry from Judah. The Canaanite pillars were felled, and even the bronze serpent made by Moses was destroyed because people were worshiping it as an idol. Because of his faithfulness, Judah enjoyed ample blessings of God.

2 Chronicles 29:1-36 Hezekiah proved to be the complete opposite of his father Ahaz. During his reign, Hezekiah reformed the religion of Judah, purified the Temple that had been defiled by idolatry, renewed the religious ceremonies and feasts, and restored the proper role of the Temple priests. 

Ch 29:30-36 The music, rites of purification, and sacrifices offered in the Temple are types of the Sacraments that Christ would establish for his Church (TYPOLOGY!!); both are particular signs and symbols of the covenant with God and all that God accomplishes for his people. Traditional rites and actions such as anointing, circumcision, the laying on of hands, and especially the Passover feast point to the Sacraments that are the channels of sanctifying grace in the New Covenant. (CCC 1150)

Psalm 141: Let my evening sacrifice!: Evening Prayer for Sunday of Week I in the Liturgy of the Hours begins with this verse. If prayer comes from a heart docile to God’s will and filled with love, then it has the value of a pleasing sacrifice expressed in rising incense. Elevating the hands is the traditional gesture that signifies raising the heart and mind to God. The psalmist recommits himself to seek God’s will in all things and to trust in God’s protection. (St. John Paul II, General Audience, November 5, 2003)

Set a guard...of their dainties: The psalmist is essentially asking the Lord to lead him away from sin and temptation. We pray for this in the Lord’s Prayer: “Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil” (Mt 6:13). He knows the value of perseverance and draws the strength to persevere from God. Since no one is ever invulnerable to sin, we must, in addition 

to habitual prayer, commit ourselves to avoid all near occasions of sin. (CCC 2612)

(*The Didache Bible RSV-CE Ignatius Edition, 2006)

Prayer by Fr. Mike: “Father in Heaven, we thank you so much. Thank you for your Word and your kindness. Thank you so much for the fact that you receive our prayers and that for whatever reason, God, our prayers matter to you. Our hearts matter to you. Our lives matter to you. The hairs on our head, apparently for whatever reason, God, this doesn’t make any sense, but we matter to you. Thank you. Thank you for hearing our prayers. Thank you for the fact that we listen to your Word, that that matters to you. That that honors you. That that gives you glory and that you receive that. Receive this time that we have spent together, this time that we have spent listening to your Word as our gift to you when we know truly what it is, is your gift to us. You are so good, God. We thank you and praise your name. We ask you to keep us. Help us to remain faithful, and if we haven’t been faithful, make us so. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.”