To watch Fr. Joe’s homily from the 32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time: CLICK HERE!
What a story we hear in our first reading today from the Book of Maccabees!
It seems incredible that a mother would encourage here seven sons to die rather than taste pork. But of course there is something greater here, the refusal to eat pork expressed a fearless proclamation of faith in the God of life!
The Maccabee Family accepted death rather than renounce their faith, their religion…
The Maccabee reading today, besides being a saga about heroes, also gives us a glimpse of how the people of Israel developed their ideas about eternal life based on their understanding of God’s goodness and justice.
Sometimes to make a point, we take the extreme and the Maccabees story does this! The Maccabees sacrificed their lives to proclaim that faithfulness to God and integrity are more important than life itself.
Today’s scriptures, invite us to reflect on the great and small things that might threaten our integrity as people of faith, for we too face challenges daily in living our faith!
For instance, does our living of our faith compare to what God asks of us? Starting with the Commandments, The Beatitudes, The Corporal & Spiritual Works of Mercy… When the living of our faith asks for sacrifice, how do we respond? Do we rationalize why it is OK for me, when the living of our faith does not fit my schedule, my thoughts, my way.
It is so easy to walk away… How about letting God into our lives… How about staying and persevering with the grace of God.
Does the life we live daily at home, work, or school, out and about, in word and action say to others that we are people of faith, that God is the center of my life?
Do we talk about our faith, our church, our conviction with others during the week in ways to foster faith, in ways that encourage others to put their faith in God and in ways that proclaim my faith, our faith, in a God who loves us and cares for us now and eternally?
Maybe today and every day we can ask for the prayers of the Maccabees as we try to imitate their conviction and courage each day, as person, family and Parish…
Look around you for the people of faith who remind you and encourage you to let God be your guide in living life and pray that others will see in YOU, in US, people of faith who are convinced that God is our guide always, everywhere & eternally.