12TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
He deported all Jerusalem.
It must have been an exciting time for Jehoiachin. As the newly installed king of Judah, he had wealth and power at his fingertips—and he was only eighteen years old!
Jehoiachin, also called Jeconiah, came to power at a turbulent time in Jerusalem, as the region was facing the threat of imminent destruction from Babylon. In less than four months, Jerusalem was attacked and Jehoiachin was exiled to Babylon. All of his treasures were either confiscated or destroyed. We find out later that he spent many years in prison before his release.
Was Jehoiachin surprised by the unexpected turns his life took? He shouldn’t have been. For years, the prophet Jeremiah had been predicting disaster if God’s people—Jehoiachin included—did not repent and turn back to the Lord (Jeremiah 22:20-30). He warned especially that the sins of their leaders would bring destruction upon the whole nation. But just like the kings before him, Jehoiachin refused to listen.
Think of how young Jehoiachin was when he heard Jeremiah’s warnings. Maybe he reminds you of some teenagers in your life today, or of yourself at that age. You may not have thought that you needed advice from the adults around you—or from God, for that matter. You might have been more focused on material things than on praying or going to Mass. Like Jehoiachin, you might have even been doing “evil in the sight of the Lord” (2 Kings 24:9).
If this describes you, let it inspire you with a deeper hope for the young people in your life. Every day is a new chance for them to come to the Lord and deepen their faith. It happened to you—and it could happen to them.
God never gives up on his people, and neither should we. Eighteen years after his capture, Jeconiah was released from prison and treated with honor by the new king of Babylon (2 Kings 25:27-30). We don’t know what his life was like after that. It’s possible that, with all that time for self-reflection, he came to repentance and a living faith in the Lord. Remember, all things are possible with God!
“Lord, pour out your Spirit on the young people in my life!”
Psalm 79:1-5, 8-9