These words of Judah’s King Hezekiah in today’s first reading (Is 38:1-6, 21-22, 7-8) come at the news that he was mortally ill and then told by Isaiah to put his “house in order” because he would not recover. Hezekiah was one of the few truly good kings of the Old Testament. He could say the words above with confidence because he was a great religious reformer.
Hezekiah, King of Judah, painter unknown, 17th century
It is worth reflecting on these words and our own mortality. How truly confident are we that we could say these same words in the face of death? Can we say honestly, at any moment, that our spiritual house is “in order”? We may or may not receive sufficient warning.
Regular examination of conscience and Confession is essential for “cleaning house.” The “medicine box” of the Confessional is a great gift to be taken advantage of often (monthly, at least, is recommended) so that we can grow closer to the Lord by clearing out the dross and receiving the fortification (i.e., graces) required to live the Great Commandment (Mt 26:36-40) and avoid future sinful behavior. In fact, a General Confession might be in order.
It is wise to remember these words of Jesus:
Stay awake, you know neither the day nor the hour. (Mt 25:13)
so that we will hear these words of Jesus:
Well done, my good and faithful servant…Come, share your master’s joy. (Mt 25:23)
Who knows? Being able to sincerely say these words of Hezekiah could add fifteen years to our lives as the Lord granted to the king.