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Thursday, November 19, 2009

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1 Maccabees 2:15-29
Psalm 50:1-2, 5-6, 14-15
Luke 19:41-44

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"The officers of the king in charge of enforcing the apostasy came to the city of Modein." —1 Maccabees 2:15

King Antiochus Epiphanes sent officers to enforce an apostasy. Almost all the Gentiles and even Jews forsook the religions of their fathers and consented to the king's orders (1 Mc 2:19). However, Mattathias, his family, and some others refused to depart from their "religion in the slightest degree" (1 Mc 2:22). Therefore, they were forced to flee to the mountains and leave behind all their possessions (1 Mc 1:28-29).

We also may be tempted to give up our faith. We may even be living during the mass apostasy, which will occur at the end of the world (2 Thes 2:3). To keep the faith as Mattathias and his followers did, we must be firmly founded on Jesus the Rock (see 1 Cor 3:11) by totally committing our lives to Him. We also need to be confirmed in our faith by the Holy Spirit. Moreover, we must come under the authority of the Church and especially of the pope. Finally, we should be sharing our faith. If we are giving our faith away, we will be able to keep it no matter what temptations and pressures we face.

Does Jesus see in you a faith that will fold or one that will stand? When He looks at you, do you bring a smile to His face or tears to His eyes? (see Lk 19:41)

Prayer:  Father, give me the strength and courage to be persecuted and die for love of You.

Promise:  "Let everyone who is zealous for the law and who stands by the covenant follow after me!" —1 Mc 2:27

Praise:  By frequent prayer and sacraments Mary strives for holiness.

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our tape Jesus, the Redeemer on audio AV 50-3 or video V-50.)

Rescript:  †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, June 3, 2009

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