Today’s First Reading reminds us that despite all the good intentions in the world we need help to be objective in seeking and doing good. Josiah, the unnamed king in today’s First Reading, was trying to reform and restore worship in Israel, and in renovating the Temple the “book of the law” was rediscovered (books from the Old Testament, probably the first at least), and Josiah realized how fare Israel had drifted from what their Lord had expected of them.
Imagine a world where the Bible itself was lost and re-discovered. Many of the good cultural inroads that Christianity has made, to the benefit of not just believers, but all of society, have been lost or have been forgotten. As in the case of the First Reading, it is not any one person’s fault: an entire people had forgotten their identity and their heritage and just drifted into whatever the prevailing public fashion dictated. Our Lord in today’s Gospel warns us against false prophets and bad trees; it takes scratching beneath the surface to see them for what they truly are. As believers we must shape our opinions and our lives based on the Christian faith and the teachings of the Church, not on the whims of a society often fickle and superficial.
I invite you to take the “Josiah” challenge: Sacred Scripture and the Catechism of the Catholic Church are readily available online. Crack or click them open and examine your life to see whether your covenant with the Lord needs renewing. You may be surprised.
Readings: 2 Kings 22:8–13, 23:1–3; Psalm 119:33–37, 40; Matthew 7:15–20. See also 23rd Week in Ordinary Time, Saturday.