The first reading touches on the first stage of the Babylonian captivity. It began in 597 B.C. when king Nebuchadnezzar led Jerusalem’s leading leading citizens to Babylon. The prophet Ezekiel was one of those.
Nebuchadnezzar then replaced Judah’s deposed king, Jehoiakin with his uncle, Zedekiah. The great prophet Jeremiah, although not mentioned here, was God’s man in Jerusalem then. His effort at keeping Jerusalem’s remnant live came to nothing in 587 B.C. when Nebuchadnezzar destroyed the city and the temple, leading the remainder of the people off to Babylon.
When we have this Gospel story of building on sand and building on rock, I always tell of building a house on rock before a typhoon struck us in in Korea in late May of 1954. I helped Peter and Paul, two refugees from the North, as they dug deep holes for their corner posts; and I helped them lugging up the boulders we dropped into those holes.
The police barracks, along with many of the town’s structures, washed out into the sea, but Peter and Paul’s house was sturdy, and we had it rollicking with fun when we dedicated the new house on the feast day of Peter and Paul, June 29, 20i0.