Tuesday, June 20, 2017

June 19, 2017


2 Maccabees 6:24-28

“For to pretend such things,” he said, “is not worthy of our time of life, lest many of the young should suppose that Eleazar in his ninetieth year has gone over to a foreign religion, and because of my pretense for the sake of living a brief moment longer, they should be led astray through me, while I earn only pollution and defilement in my old age. For even if for the present I should avoid the punishment of men, yet whether I live or die, I shall not escape the hands of the Almighty. Therefore by manfully giving up my life now, I will show myself worthy of my old age, and leave to the young a noble example of how to die a good death willingly and bravely for the venerable and holy laws.”

Personal Challenge

Eleazar was a 90-year-old Jewish leader. He was well known and well respected in his community by both Jews and Gentiles. In this part of Maccabees, the king that has conquered the Jews is forcing people like Eleazar to do things that are clearly against their beliefs and their practices. Just prior to this passage, the Gentile leaders that know and respect Eleazar are telling him to just to pretend to do what the king is demanding of him and then he will survive. He makes it clear that doing the right thing for God, before the people around him, is more important than life itself. As a follower of Christ, a leader of the youth in my parish, and most importantly a husband, a father, and a grandfather, would I be this strong in a time of persecution? Only my God knows. Lord, have Mercy! Lord, have mercy! Lord, have mercy!

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