Thursday of the Fourth Week in Ordinary Time Lectionary: 326
Reading 11 KGS 2:1-4, 10-12
When the time of David’s death drew near, he gave these instructions to his son Solomon: “I am going the way of all flesh. Take courage and be a man. Keep the mandate of the LORD, your God, following his ways and observing his statutes, commands, ordinances, and decrees as they are written in the law of Moses, that you may succeed in whatever you do, wherever you turn, and the LORD may fulfill the promise he made on my behalf when he said, ‘If your sons so conduct themselves that they remain faithful to me with their whole heart and with their whole soul, you shall always have someone of your line on the throne of Israel.’”
David rested with his ancestors and was buried in the City of David. The length of David’s reign over Israel was forty years: he reigned seven years in Hebron and thirty-three years in Jerusalem.
Solomon was seated on the throne of his father David, with his sovereignty firmly established.
R. (12b) Lord, you are exalted over all. “Blessed may you be, O LORD, God of Israel our father, from eternity to eternity.” R. Lord, you are exalted over all. “Yours, O LORD, are grandeur and power, majesty, splendor, and glory.” R. Lord, you are exalted over all. “LORD, you are exalted over all. Yours, O LORD, is the sovereignty; you are exalted as head over all. Riches and honor are from you.” R. Lord, you are exalted over all. “In your hand are power and might; it is yours to give grandeur and strength to all.” R. Lord, you are exalted over all.
R. Alleluia, alleluia. The Kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the Gospel. R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Jesus summoned the Twelve and began to send them out two by two and gave them authority over unclean spirits. He instructed them to take nothing for the journey but a walking stick –no food, no sack, no money in their belts. They were, however, to wear sandals but not a second tunic. He said to them, “Wherever you enter a house, stay there until you leave from there. Whatever place does not welcome you or listen to you, leave there and shake the dust off your feet in testimony against them.” So they went off and preached repentance. The Twelve drove out many demons, and they anointed with oil many who were sick and cured them.
Pope Francis preaches the homily during Mass on Thursday. - OSS_ROM
(Vatican Radio) The most beautiful inheritance we can leave to others is the Faith: that was Pope Francis’ message during Holy Mass on Thursday morning at the Casa Santa Marta. In his homily, he invited us to not fear death, because the course of life continues.
Listen to Christopher Wells' report:
Thinking about death illuminates life
The day’s first reading tells the story of the death of King David. “In every life there is an ending,” the Pope said. This is a thought “that is not pleasing to us,” that we always pass over, but “it is an everyday reality.” Thinking about death is “a light that illuminates life” and “a reality that we should always have before us”:
“In one of the Wednesday audiences there was among those who were sick a very old sister, but with face of peace, a luminous countenance: ‘But how old are you, sister?’ With a smile she said, ‘Eighty-three, but I am finishing my course in this life, to begin another with the Lord, because I have pancreatic cancer.’ And so, in peace, that woman had lived her consecrated life with great intensity. She did not fear death: ‘I am finishing my course of life, to begin another.’ It is a passage. These things do us good.”
Faith, the most beautiful inheritance
David ruled over Israel for 40 years, the Pope noted. Before dying, David exhorted his son Solomon to observe the Law of the Lord. David had sinned often in life, but had learned to ask for forgiveness – and the Church calls him holy, “a sinner, but a Saint!” Now, at the point of death, David left to his son “the most beautiful and greatest inheritance a man or a woman can leave to their children: He left them the faith”:
“When a will is made, people say, ‘I leave this to one person, this to another, to another person I leave this.’ Yes, that’s fine, but the most beautiful inheritance, the greatest inheritance a man, a woman, can leave to their children is the faith. And David remembered the promises of God, he remembers his own faith in them, and he reminds his son of them, leaving the faith as an inheritance. When in the ceremony of Baptism we give the parents the lighted candle, the light of the faith, we are saying to them, ‘Preserve it, make it grow in your son and in your daughter, and leave it to them as an inheritance.’ Leaving the faith as an inheritance – this is what David teaches us. And he died, simply, like any man. But he knew well what to leave to his son, and what was the best inheritance he could leave: not the kingdom, but the faith!”
God is faithful; He is a Father who never disappoints
We would do well to ask ourselves a question, the Pope concluded: “What is the inheritance I will leave with my life?”
“Will I leave the inheritance of a man, a woman of faith? Will I leave this inheritance to my children? Let us ask two things of the Lord: to not be afraid of this final step, like the sister at the Wednesday audience (‘I am ending my course, but beginning another”), not being afraid. And the second thing, that with our life, we might all be able to leave, as the better inheritance, the faith, faith in this faithful God, this God who is always close to us, this God who is a Father, and who never disappoints.”
CAPUCHIN, PRIESTIn the world named Eufranio Desiderio; born in 1556 at Leonessa in Umbria; died 4 February, 1612. From his infancy he showed a remarkably religious bent of mind; he used to erect little altars and spend much time in prayer before them, and often he would gather his companions and induce them to pray with him. Whilst yet a boy he used to take the discipline on Fridays in company with the confraternity of St. Saviour. He was educated by his uncle, who had planned a suitable marriage for him, but in his sixteenth year he fell sick of a fever, and on his recovery, without consulting his relative, he joined the Capuchin reform of the Franciscan Order. He made his novitiate in the convent of the Carcerelle near Assisi. As a religious he was remarkable for his great abstinence. "Brother Ass", he would say to his body, "there is no need to feed thee as a noble horse would be fed: thou must be content to be a poor ass." In 1599, the year before his Jubilee year, he fasted the whole year by way of preparation for gaining the indulgence. In 1587 he was sent by the Superior General of his order to Constantinople to minister to the Christians held captive there. Arrived there he and his companions lodged in a derelict house of Benedictine monks. The poverty in which the friars lived attracted the attention of the Turks, who went in numbers to see the new missionaries. He was very solicitous in ministering to the captive Christians in the galleys. Every day he went into the city to preach, and he was at length thrown into prison and only released at the intervention of the Venetian agent. Urged on by zeal he at last sought to enter the palace to preach before the Sultan, but he was seized and condemned to death. For three days he hung on the gallows, held up by two hooks driven through his right hand and foot; then he was miraculously released by an angel. Returning to Italy, he took with him a Greek archbishop who had apostatized, and who was reconciled to the Church on their arrival in Rome. Joseph now took up the work of home missions in his native province, sometimes preaching six or seven times a day. In the Jubilee year of 1600 he preached the Lent at Otricoli, a town through which crowds of pilgrims passed on their way to Rome. Many of them being very poor, Joseph supplied them with food; he also washed their clothes and cut their hair. At Todi he cultivated with his own hands a garden, the produce of which was for the poor. His feast is kept on 4 February throughout the Franciscan Order. He was canonized by Benedict XIV. Text Catholic Encyclopedia