Posts Tagged ‘followers of Christ’

2 Maccabees 12:38-46: Battle – Part V

Click on this image for a video commentary.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Today’s Favorite returns once more to 2 Maccabees, the first Book cited in the first Noontime Scripture reflection. The message is as simple, constant, and powerful today as it was more than a decade ago. Be steadfast. Trust in God. Remain faithful to God. Life is a struggle, but God is with us. We need not be afraid. 

Today’s citation reminds us of a strong underpinning of those themes: there is life after our apparent death, and we must pray not only for ourselves but for those who have strayed from the covenant as well.  1 Maccabees 5:6 gives a different reason for the fall of the Israelite troops – the priests had wanted to distinguish themselves in battle – but the message is the same: if we succeed in remaining faithful to our covenant with God, we must pray for those who fallen.

We will not want to miss the true life that follows this one, and we will want to share this full and generous life with our families and friends.  And lest we fear that our loved ones will not accompany us, we remember that it is possible to bring straying sheep into the fold through petition to the Creator. We remember that with God all things are possible.

Christ is the one who offers himself in expiation for the downfall of the world and thus becomes the Redeemer of all.  We participate in this redemption by offering our own sufferings in expiation for others.  The dead will live again, and this we can believe.

Over time, we have spent several Noontimes reflecting on the lessons brought to us by the Maccabeus family.  Their stamina, their perseverance, their refusal to be extinguished, and their refusal to allow God’s law of forgiveness, mercy and justice to be extinguished is seen again in all of Christ’s followers.  Jesus’ disciples are constant searchers of God’s essence and truth.  They will always hunger and thirst for an essence they feel but cannot see, a Spirit they know but cannot always touch. The Maccabeus family tells us this story. Jesus the Redeemer invites all of us to be these followers.

It is the endurance of the Maccabees we seek through our intense hope in the promises of God.  It is the fidelity of the Maccabees we seek through our deep faith in the goodness of God.  It is the devotion of the Maccabees we seek through our passionate love for the ways of God. 

Tomorrow, a prayer for trials and obstacles.

Adapted from a Favorite written on April 25, 2009.

To learn why the Books of the Maccabees are not included in the Jewish Bible, visit: https://www.myjewishlearning.com/article/omitting-the-maccabees/ 

Watch a video commentary at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BdHjJFQAoZk 

Images from https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/leaders-mind-3-steadfastness-barry-walsh/ and https://www.myjewishlearning.com/article/omitting-the-maccabees/

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Psalm 35In Union with the Master

Wednesday, December 16, 201535-flower-and-v27

“The authors of these psalms use hyperbole (or overstatement) in order to move others to oppose sin and evil . . . In three successive waves, the frantic and indignant cry of the persecuted righteous man rises toward God; and three successive times the suppliant rediscovers hope . . . Christians are aware that the world continues to pursue Christ in the person of his disciples, unjustly directing accusations and persecutions against them.  Hence the prayer formulated in this psalm must spring forth from the lips and hearts of the disciples united with their Master”.  (THE PSALMS 94)

Christ does not leave us alone to handle the circumstances in which we find ourselves.  Once we see that we are his true followers, we can rest in the assurance that we will not be left to tackle our problems alone. There are times when we feel as though we have misunderstood God’s instruction to us.  There are other times when we feel unqualified to do as God asks.  But when God calls us to work with Christ, God also has many fall-back plans, many routes for us to follow as we inch toward our goal.

psalm-37-5When we feel trapped, when we are maligned, when we are overwhelmed, when we are persecuted or abandoned, we can turn to the Master to unite ourselves with him so that in this season of hope, we can celebrate with the psalmist who says: My whole being will say, “O Lord, who is there like you?” . . . My tongue shall proclaim your righteousness and sing your praise all the day long. 

THE PSALMS, NEW CATHOLIC VERSION. Saint Joseph Edition. New Jersey: Catholic Book Publishing Company, 2004. 94. Print.

When we use the scripture link to explore other versions of this Psalm, we are rewarded in our desire to find union with the Master.

A favorite from December 7, 2009.


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