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Tuesday of the Twelfth Week in Ordinary Time
II Kings 19:9b-11,14-21, 31-35a, 36
Psalm 48:2-3ab, 3cd-4, 10-11
Matthew 7:6, 12-14
My summary takes the form of a spiritual geography lesson. I remember hearing
in elementary school that we must learn about geography in order that we may
come to understand the challenges and potentials of a people. Thus, we can
learn a great deal from today˅s readings if we connect ourselves to the geogra-
phy of Jerusalem. As you ponder the first reading, can˅t you just imagine Heze-
kiah˅s fear as he anticipated the impending attack of the Assyrians? This King,
realizing the threat to his people, prayed with all his might to the God of Israel for
support. But, King Hezekiah also took action on behalf of the people of Israel by
digging a tunnel under the City of David to link a spring outside the City (just
above the Kidron Valley) to the population within. This was constructed in order
that his people would not die of thirst during a siege. This tunnel remains an ar-
cheological site which can be visited and the waters lead, interestingly enough, to
the Pool of Siloam. Recall that the blind man was healed by Jesus at this pool.
And, it was here that Jesus made it clear that
was the
Living Water
There is a further significance to this geography. The water from this pool was
commingled with wine in the Temple of Jerusalem at the time of Sukkoth and then
pored out into the Kidron Valley. It was no accident that Jesus identifies himself
as the source of Living Water at the feast of Sukkoth. And, we know the agony
Christ felt in that valley of tears outside the city wall, as He awaited his destiny.
Now, let˅s return to the City. Jesus says in our Gospel reading that the gate
leading to eternal life is narrow. You and I have heard preachers reflect on how
we must let go of our ˈbaggageˉ and release our attachmentsˁin order to enter
through this narrow gate to the New Jerusalem. If we are too attached to material
possessions or our defects of character (perhaps due to our own blindness), we
will are robbing ourselves of the freedom leading to eternal life.