Monday, November 18, 2019

How Eleazar died with dignity.

"But Eleazar made up his mind in a noble manner, worthy of his years, the dignity of his advanced age, the merited distinction of his gray hair, and of the admirable life he had lived from childhood; and so he declared that above all he would be loyal to the holy laws given by God." (2 Maccabees 6: 23).

Tuesday of the 33rd week in Ordinary Time. The 1st Reading from the 2nd Book of Maccabees tells us of how Eleazar, the 90 year old noble man died a martyr's death.

What is the great lesson for us in this Scripture? Never think or say: It is insanity to imagine that such a persecution could ever happen today. We learn that "Eleazar made up his mind in a noble manner, worthy of his years." In the fight against sin and evil, you must make up your mind what to do, how to act in different compromising scenarios. If you don't, you may find yourself compromised "for the sake of a brief moment of life." (2 Maccabees 6: 25). The English Hierarchy under King Henry VIII in the 16th century were completely unprepared for persecution.  Except St John Fisher, all succumbed to the threat of the King and renounced their faith.

Why does the Holy Spirit give the Church this Scripture today? Be vigilant and pray always. O that you would listen to His voice, harden not your hearts.

"Grant us, we pray, O Lord our God,
the constant gladness of being devoted to you, for it is full and lasting happiness to serve with constancy the author of all that is good. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son.. " (Collect, today).

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Jesus is Lord.