"Seven brothers with their mother were arrested and tortured with whips and scourges by the king." —2 Maccabees 7:1
The members of this family were maimed, scalped, amputated, fried, and murdered one by one while the remaining family members were forced to watch. This family's courage was supernatural. The basis of their courage was faith in God, our Creator and our Resurrection. At his death, the second brother said: "You are depriving us of this present life, but the King of the world will raise us up to live again forever" (2 Mc 7:9). The third brother proclaimed that God, Who created his hands and tongue, would re-create them after they had been amputated. The fourth brother said: "It is my choice to die at the hands of men with the God-given hope of being restored to life by Him" (2 Mc 7:14).
Throughout these tortures and murders, the mother exhorted her sons: "Since it is the Creator of the universe Who shapes each man's beginning, as He brings about the origin of everything, He, in His mercy, will give you back both breath and life" (2 Mc 7:23). The mother spoke these words to the last son to die: "I beg you, child, to look at the heavens and the earth and see all that is in them; then you will know that God did not make them out of existing things; and in the same way the human race came into existence. Do not be afraid of this executioner, but be worthy of your brothers and accept death, so that in the time of mercy I may receive you again with them" (2 Mc 7:28-29). The mother believed in the resurrection because of her faith in God the Creator. Is our faith in God, the Creator and the Resurrection, abstract or is it so real and personal we would die for it?
Prayer: Father, by faith may I conquer kingdoms (Heb 11:33).
Promise: "Whoever has will be given more, but the one who has not will lose the little he has." —Lk 19:26
Praise: St. Margaret, although royal, practiced austerity and was faithful to prayers and service.
Rescript: †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Bishop-Elect, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, April 26, 2011 (for 10-1-2011 through 11-29-2011) and May 26, 2011 (for 11-30-2011)
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