Read 2 Kings 19:9-11,14-21,31-36, Ps. 48:2-4,10-11, Matthew 7:6,12-14

“For the gate is narrow and the way is hard, that leads to life, and those who find it are few.” (Matthew 7:14)

Our first reading today contains the miraculous defeat of the Assyrian army which was led by King Sennacherib. Trusting in his armory and fighting power, King Sennacherib, in a letter to King Hezekiah boasted: “Do not let your God on whom you rely deceive you by promising that Jerusalem will not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria. Behold, you have heard what the kings of Assyria have done to all lands, destroying them utterly. And shall you be delivered?” (2 Kings 19:10-11) 

See how Hezekiah responded. He took the letter from the messengers and went up to the house of the Lord, spread it before the Lord, and prayed: “So now, O Lord our God, save us, I beseech thee, from his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that thou, O Lord, art God alone.” (2 Kings 19:19) When we display such faith and confidence in God, He always responds. As Jesus would say: “even the hairs of your head are numbered, do not be afraid of those who can kill the body but fear Him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.” (Cf. Matthew 10:28,30).

As soon as Hezekiah finished praying, the Spirit of the Lord roused the prophet Isaiah, son of Amoz, and everything he said came to pass. That night an Angel of God struck down one hundred and eighty-five thousand in the camp of the Assyrians. King Sennacherib woke up the next day to see that nothing was left of all he had trusted. With great shame, he retreated into exile to the land of Nineveh.

When faced with threats from enemies of the faith, let us learn to surrender completely to God as Hezekiah did. Do not panic. Just pray, surrender, and let God do your fighting for you. Unfortunately, most Christians today do not believe God is capable of protecting them. A larger majority of Christians have lost faith in the power of prayers and this explains the loud calls for us to take up arms to fight rather than trust in God’s protection.  

Do you firmly believe that with prayers, we can solve the problem of insecurity bedeviling our nation? If you do, then you are among the very few still following the narrow path of salvation that Jesus spoke about in today’s Gospel passage. Sure, it is not easy to be different in a world like ours. It is not easy to genuinely let your light shine in a world so full of darkness. As Jesus would say: “the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to salvation.” Don’t get tired of the difficulties you are facing in your walk with Jesus. It was never meant to be a smooth ride. Do not give up.

Let us pray: Almighty ever-living God, when I am afraid, teach me to call upon you with deep faith and trust. Through Christ our Lord. Amen. 

Be Happy. Live Positive. Have Faith. It is well with you. (Saint Aloysius Gonzaga, Religious. Bible Study: 2 Kings 19:9-11,14-21,31-36, Ps. 48:2-4,10-11, Matthew 7:6,12-14)© Rev. Fr. Evaristus Abu