Friday of week 11 in Ordinary Time
2 Kings 11:1-4,9-18,20
Saved from the massacre, the true king is anointed by the high priest
When Athaliah the mother of Ahaziah learned that her son was dead, she promptly did away with all those of royal stock. But Jehosheba, daughter of King Jehoram and sister of Ahaziah, secretly took away Jehoash, her brother’s son, from among the sons of the king who were being murdered, and put him with his nurse in the sleeping quarters; in this way she hid him from Athaliah, and he was not put to death. He stayed with her for six years, hidden in the Temple of the Lord, while Athaliah governed the country.
In the seventh year, Jehoiada sent for the commanders of hundreds of the Carians and of the guards, and had them brought to him in the Temple of the Lord. He made a pact with them and, putting them under oath, showed them the king’s son.
The commanders of hundreds did everything as Jehoiada the priest had ordered. They brought their men, those coming off duty on the sabbath together with those mounting guard on the sabbath, and came to Jehoiada the priest. The priest equipped the commanders of hundreds with King David’s spears and shields which were in the Temple of the Lord. The guards formed up, each man with his weapon in his hand, from the south corner to the north corner of the Temple, surrounding the altar and the Temple. Then Jehoiada brought out the king’s son, put the crown and armlets on him, and he anointed him king. They clapped their hands and shouted, ‘Long live the king!’
Athaliah, on hearing the shouts of the people made for the Temple of the Lord where the people were. When she saw the king standing there beside the pillar, as the custom was, with the captains and trumpeters at the king’s side, and all the country people rejoicing and sounding trumpets, Athaliah tore her garments and shouted, ‘Treason, treason!’ Then Jehoiada the priest gave the order to the army officers: ‘Take her outside the precincts and put to death anyone who follows her.’ ‘For,’ the priest had reasoned, ‘she must not be put to death in the Temple of the Lord.’ They seized her, and when she had reached the palace through the Entry of the Horses, she was put to death there.
Jehoiada made a covenant between the Lord and king and people, by which the latter undertook to be the people of the Lord; and also between king and people. All the country people then went to the temple of Baal and demolished it; they smashed his altars and his images and killed Mattan, priest of Baal, in front of the altars.
The priest posted sentries to guard the Temple of the Lord. All the country people were delighted, and the city made no move. And they put Athaliah to death in the royal palace.
Psalm or canticle
The Lord swore an oath to David;
he will not go back on this word:
‘A son, the fruit of your body,
will I set upon your throne.
If they keep my covenant in truth
and my laws that I have taught them,
their sons also shall rule
on your throne from age to age.’
For the Lord has chosen Zion;
he has desired it for his dwelling:
‘This is my resting-place for ever;
here have I chosen to live.
There David’s stock will flower;
I will prepare a lamp for my anointed.
I will cover his enemies with shame
but on him my crown shall shine.’
Store up treasure for yourselves in heaven
Jesus said to his disciples: ‘Do not store up treasures for yourselves on earth, where moths and woodworms destroy them and thieves can break in and steal. But store up treasures for yourselves in heaven, where neither moth nor woodworms destroy them and thieves cannot break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
‘The lamp of the body is the eye. It follows that if your eye is sound, your whole body will be filled with light. But if your eye is diseased, your whole body will be all darkness. If then, the light inside you is darkness, what darkness that will be!’