“…SHE BORE IT WITH GOOD COURAGE BECAUSE OF HER HOPE IN THE LORD” (2 Macc 7:20)
????2 Macc 7:1, 20-31; Ps 17:1, 5-6, 8 and 15 (R.v.15b); Luke 19:11-28
The prophet Isaiah encouraged the exilic Israelites, who were downcast and already being seduced into accepting the Babylonian religion saying that, “those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not grow tired” (Isa 40:31).
Yesterday, from the Second Book of Maccabees, we read of the martyrdom of Eleazar and his desire to leave good example to the young (cf. 2 Macc 6:18-31). Obviously, his good example bore great fruits as we could see from the martyrdom of a mother and her seven sons (cf. 2 Macc 7:1-31).
They were able to do all that because of their hope in the resurrection as their mother implied in her counsel of the youngest son, “Accept death, so that in God’s mercy I may get you back again with your brothers” (2 Macc 7:29). St. Paul encourages us that this kind of hope will not disappoint us because we are already enshrined in the love of God (cf. Rom 5:5).
Providentially too, today, we celebrate St. Cecilia who refused to give herself up in marriage to a pagan rich king, a marriage that would have been a danger to her soul. She suffered martyrdom for this and today enjoys eternal life. She thus teaches us to make effort to preserve our souls better than we care for our bodies.
Are you still nursing some fear in the exercise of your faith? Never allow that fear to force you to hide your time, talent and treasure from God. They come to you from God, and must be used for him. The more you use them for him, the more he blesses you with more.
May God grant us the courage to live out our faith at all times no matter what it may cost us. And may his love continue to overflow in us in this life, and lead us into eternal life we hope for in the end. Amen
Have a great and courageous day ahead. Peace be with you.