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1 Maccabees 12:19-38: In the Face of Great Odds

Friday, December 20, 2019

Jonathan Maccabeus

We have looked at the verses that precede and follow today’s citation, reflecting on friendship and betrayal, on constancy and convolution.  Today we see Jonathan Maccabeus experiencing success as he follows the call of God.  He is later betrayed, but his betrayer suffers a sad end.  We might learn about the kind of patience needed for fidelity when we ponder this story; and we may better understand the need for fortitude and hope when we follow God’s call.  Jonathan’s victory in today’s Noontime comes from his faith in a God who does not abandon his creatures.  Jonathan’s true triumph is not the battles the battles he wins . . . but his commitment to the promise he has made to God.  His true reward is not the fame of the battle won . . . but the serenity of knowing that all is best and all is well when our work is placed in God’s hands.

From today’s Evening Prayer in MAGNIFICAT:

Although you have not seen him you love him; even though you do not see him now yet you believe in him, you rejoice with an indescribable and glorious joy.  1 Peter 1:8

Whatever gains I had, these I have come to consider a loss because of Christ.  It is not that I have already taken hold of it or have already attained perfect maturity, but I continue my pursuit in hope that I may possess it, since I have indeed been taken possession of by Christ.  Philippians 3: 7, 12

Although Jonathan did not see God, he loved God and followed his calling . . . even to death.

Whatever gain or loss Jonathan had, he had in God.

May we too, be as constant and as hope-filled as Jonathan . . . even in the face of the greatest odds.


Cameron, Peter John. “Prayer for the Evening.” MAGNIFICAT. 16.11 (2010). Print.  

Written on November 16, 2010 and posted today as a Favorite.

Image from: http://all-generals.ru/index.php?id=1193

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Tuesday, Christmas Day, December 25, 2012

The Infancy and Childhood Narrative – Luke 1:5-2:52

El Greco: The Adoration of the Shepherds

El Greco: The Adoration of the Shepherds

God as Promise

From the HARPERCOLLINS BIBLE COMMENTARY: “To speak of God keeping promises is to be reminded that the central characters in Luke-Acts is God.  Some Christian writings are so Christocentric that in reading them one tends to forget what Luke does not forget: the story of salvation is God’s story.  God led Israel; God inspired prophets; God sent John the Baptist; God sent Jesus; God raised up Jesus; and God sends the Holy Spirit.  God is at work through persons, nations, political leaders, laws and institutions.  Since God continues to lead and to work the divine purpose, Luke neither longs for nor looks for nor calls the church back to a golden age of Jesus or of the early church, but shows that each time and place has its own appropriateness in the plan of God”.  (Mays 928)

On this Christmas Day as we celebrate the arrival of God’s visible sign of promise in our midst . . .

Let us remember to thank God for all that we have, for all that we wish to be and for all that we are. 

Let us praise God for all that we hope, all that we believe and for all that we find the courage to do in the Spirit. 

Let us continue to follow where God leads, let us continue to do as God asks, and let us continue to work the divine purpose.

Mays, James L., ed.  HARPERCOLLINS BIBLE COMMENTARY. New York, New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 1988. 928. Print.

For more on this painting go the Background Image page on this blog at: https://thenoontimes.com/background-image/

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