MONDAY OF THE THIRTY-THIRD WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME NOVEMBER 18, 2019
A reading from the first Book of Maccabees 1:10-15, 41-43, 54-57, 62-63
[From the descendants of Alexander's officers] there sprang a sinful offshoot, Antiochus Epiphanes, son of King Antiochus, once a hostage at Rome. He became king in the year one hundred and thirty seven of the kingdom of the Greeks. In those days there appeared in Israel men who were breakers of the law, and they seduced many people, saying: "Let us go and make an alliance with the Gentiles all around us; since we separated from them, many evils have come upon us." The proposal was agreeable; some from among the people promptly went to the king, and he authorized them to introduce the way of living of the Gentiles. Thereupon they built a gymnasium in Jerusalem according to the Gentile custom. They covered over the mark of their circumcision and abandoned the holy covenant; they allied themselves with the Gentiles and sold themselves to wrongdoing. Then the king wrote to his whole kingdom that all should be one people, each abandoning his particular customs. All the Gentiles conformed to the command of the king, and many children of Israel were in favor of his religion; they sacrificed to idols and profaned the sabbath. On the fifteenth day of the month Chislev, in the year one hundred and forty-five, the king erected the horrible abomination upon the altar of burnt offerings and in the surrounding cities of Judah they built pagan altars.
They also burned incense at the doors of the houses and in the streets. Any scrolls of the law which they found they tore up and burnt. Whoever was found with a scroll of the covenant, and whoever observed the law, was condemned to death by royal decree. But many in Israel were determined and resolved in their hearts not to eat anything unclean; they preferred to die rather than to be defiled with unclean food or to profane the holy covenant; and they did die. Terrible affliction was upon Israel.
REFLECTION: "But many in Israel were determined and resolved in their hearts not to eat anything unclean; they preferred to die rather than to be defiled with unclean food or to profane the holy covenant; and they did die."
Most of us will never be faced with the persecution that is happening to Christians in the Middle East. Or the persecution of faithful priests. Are we ready to be put to death for our faith?
Be courageous, be strong--do not be dismayed. The devil is after us--Christians being forced to assist in abortions, people prosecuted for not doing what LGBTQ wants, our faith is mocked, our churches are being destroyed, our priests are beaten or killed. Remain loyal to the one who loves you--sacrifice for God and neighbor --be extravagant in your love and be a vessel for all God's grace to pour in.
Be disciplined-- Fast and pray another rosary. Let only the Lord know that we are offering a sacrifice. Pray an extra decade, skip lunch, eat a 1/2 hour later so that we can be hungrier. Set the alarm and wake up earlier and pray for the Church, our priests,
Be a Navy Seal and be ready to invade, be a warrior spirit--"But many in Israel were determined and resolved in their hearts not to eat anything unclean; they preferred to die rather than to be defiled with unclean food or to profane the holy covenant; and they did die."
Praise and Glory Be to God as we prepare for the First Annual PAPA Conference December 6-8th, 2019 !