Wednesday, November 20, 2019

We will not obey the wicked orders of the king.


"But Mattathias answered in a loud voice: “Although all the Gentiles in the king’s realm obey him, so that they forsake the religion of their ancestors and consent to the king’s orders,  yet I and my sons and my kindred will keep to the covenant of our ancestors.  Heaven forbid that we should forsake the law and the commandments." (1 Maccabees 2: 19 - 21).

Thursday of the 33rd week in Ordinary Time is the feast of the Presentation of the three year old Virgin Mary in the Temple. Here is what the Church says about this feast:
"The Church preserves the early tradition that as a small child, Mary was presented to the Lord by her parents in the Temple. This celebration calls our attention to the total dedication of Mary to God's service and her obedience to God's plan. We, too, are called to serve God joyfully and without seeking any human glory in return." (Roman Missal).

In our key Scripture today from 1 Maccabees, Mattathias stood his ground and declared: "I and my sons and my kindred will keep to the covenant of our ancestors.  Heaven forbid that we should forsake the law and the commandments." Do you see that such a stance means death sentence for the person. This statement is not made lightly.
Remember Eleazar, the 90 year old man who was bludgeoned to death for refusing to eat meat forbidden by the law? Scripture says that Eleazar made up his mind ahead of time on what to do in such a situation. (Cf 2 Maccabees 6: 23).

In a similar cross road in the early history of Israel, Joshua declared:
"If you refuse to serve the LORD, then choose today whom you will serve. Would you prefer the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates? Or will it be the gods of the Amorites in whose land you now live? But as for me and my family, we will serve the LORD.” (Joshua 24: 15). Joshua had decided that come what may, he would serve the Lord.

"Offer praise as your sacrifice to God; fulfill your vows to the Most High. Then call on me on the day of distress; I will rescue you, and you shall honor me.” (Psalm 50: 14 - 15).

Daily Bible Verse @ SeekFirstcommunity.com

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