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Liturgical day: Friday 11th in Ordinary Time

1st Reading (1Kgs 11:1-4.9-18.20): When Athaliah, the mother of Ahaziah, saw that her son was dead, she began to kill off the whole royal family. But Jehosheba, daughter of King Jehoram and sister of Ahaziah, took Joash, his son, and spirited him away, along with his nurse, from the bedroom where the princes were about to be slain. She concealed him from Athaliah, and so he did not die. For six years he remained hidden in the temple of the Lord, while Athaliah ruled the land.

But in the seventh year, Jehoiada summoned the captains of the Carians and of the guards. He had them come to him in the temple of the Lord, exacted from them a sworn commitment, and then showed them the king's son. The captains did just as Jehoiada the priest commanded. Each one with his men, both those going on duty for the Sabbath and those going off duty that week, came to Jehoiada the priest. He gave the captains King David's spears and shields, which were in the temple of the Lord. And the guards, with drawn weapons, lined up from the southern to the northern limit of the enclosure, surrounding the altar and the temple on the king's behalf. Then Jehoiada led out the king's son and put the crown and the insignia upon him. They proclaimed him king and anointed him, clapping their hands and shouting, «Long live the king!».

Athaliah heard the noise made by the people, and appeared before them in the temple of the Lord. When she saw the king standing by the pillar, as was the custom, and the captains and trumpeters near him, with all the people of the land rejoicing and blowing trumpets, she tore her garments and cried out, «Treason, treason!». Then Jehoiada the priest instructed the captains in command of the force: «Bring her outside through the ranks. If anyone follows her», he added, «let him die by the sword». He had given orders that she should not be slain in the temple of the Lord. She was led out forcibly to the horse gate of the royal palace, where she was put to death.

Then Jehoiada made a covenant between the Lord as one party and the king and the people as the other, by which they would be the Lord's people; and another covenant, between the king and the people. Thereupon all the people of the land went to the temple of Baal and demolished it. They shattered its altars and images completely, and slew Mattan, the priest of Baal, before the altars. Jehoiada appointed a detachment for the temple of the Lord. All the people of the land rejoiced and the city was quiet, now that Athaliah had been slain with the sword at the royal palace.
Responsorial Psalm: 131
R/. The Lord has chosen Zion for his dwelling.
The Lord swore to David a firm promise from which he will not withdraw: «Your own offspring I will set upon your throne».

«If your sons keep my covenant and the decrees which I shall teach them, their sons, too, forever shall sit upon your throne».

For the Lord has chosen Zion; he prefers her for his dwelling. «Zion is my resting place forever; in her will I dwell, for I prefer her».

«In her will I make a horn to sprout forth for David; I will place a lamp for my anointed. His enemies I will clothe with shame, but upon him my crown shall shine».
Versicle before the Gospel (Mt 5:3): Alleluia. Blessed are the poor in spirit; for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven. Alleluia.

Gospel text (Mt 6,19-23): Jesus said to his disciples: «Do not store up treasure for yourself here on earth where moth and rust destroy it, and where thieves can steal it. Store up treasure for yourself with God, where no moth or rust can destroy nor thief come and steal it. For where your treasure is, there also your heart will be.

»The lamp of the body is the eye; if your eyes are sound, your whole body will be in the light. If your eyes are diseased your whole body will be in darkness. Then, if your light has become darkness, how dark will be the darkest part of you!

«Store up treasure for yourself with God, where no moth or rust can destroy nor thief come and steal it»

Fr. Lluís RAVENTÓS i Artés
(Tarragona, Spain)

Today, the Lord tells us that «the lamp of the body is the eye» (Mt 6:22). St. Thomas claims that when speaking of the eye Jesus refers to man's intentions. When our intention is right, luminous, pointing to God, all our actions are bright, resplendent; but when your intention becomes darkness. how dark will be the darkest part of us! (cf. Mt 6:23).

If we are malicious or wicked, our intention may not be straight, but more often than not this is just because we are lacking some good sense. We live as if we would have been born to pile up riches and we could think of nothing else. To make money, to buy, to possess, to have. We want others to admire us, or perhaps to envy us. We deceive one another, we suffer, we worry and pain and cannot find the desired happiness. But Jesus makes us another proposal: «Store up treasure for yourself with God, where no moth or rust can destroy nor thief come and steal it» (Mt 6:20). Heaven is the barn where good actions are stored, and this sure is a forever lasting treasure.

Let us be sincere and honest with ourselves: where are our efforts directed to, which are our endeavours? True, good Christians must honestly study and labour to make a living, to raise a family, to insure their future and a peaceful life when old, and they must also work with an aim to help the others … All this is, indeed, a characteristic of a good Christian. But, if what you are looking for, is to have more and more all the time, placing your heart in those riches, forgetting any good action, drawing a blank upon the fact we are here just provisionally, that our life is just a passing shadow, is it not true —then— that our eye is in darkness, «how dark will be the darkest part of you!» (Mt 6:23).