Day 290: Judas Maccabeus Dies

1 Maccabees 9:1-22 Judas was willing to die for the cause of freedom, but many of his soldiers were not, and they began to desert him. Perhaps the absence of any mention of recourse to God is an indication of the loss of hope. Nevertheless, Judas Maccabeus, in his total dedication to save the people of Israel, is a type of Christ (TYPOLOGY!!), who gave his life to save all of the people.

Ch 9:54-57 The Temple featured a wall that separated the inner court, where the Jews worshiped, from the outer court, where Gentiles gathered. In a continuing but misguided effort to force political, cultural, and religious unity throughout the Syrian empire, Alcimus ordered the separation wall torn down. Work had just begun when Alcimus suffered what might have been a stroke and died shortly thereafter. 

Ch 9:54: He tore down the work of the prophets: Throughout the Old Testament, the prophets were key in establishing the people of Israel as distinct from the pagans and Gentiles. Due to the Redemption of Christ, everyone may receive the gift of faith and, thus, have access to eternal life (cf. Eph 2:11-14).

Sirach 24:1-34 Wisdom is sometimes personified in Scripture in feminine terms; in fact, the Greek Sophia means “wisdom.” “Begotten Wisdom” is a term that refers to God the Son, who took on human nature. The beginning of John’s Gospel stresses through the Word all creation came into existence (cf. Jn 1:1-5). It was fitting, therefore, that the Redemption, i.e., the recreation, should occur through the Word made flesh. Because the “Begotten Wisdom” became flesh in Mary’s womb, one of her titles is Seat of Wisdom. Appropriately, the First Reading at Mass on the Second Sunday after the Nativity (Christmas) is excerpted from this chapter. (CCC 721-722)

Ch 24:10 I ministered before him: The Israelites believed that God was especially present in the Tabernacle in the Holy of Holies of the Temple. In Catholic churches, the tabernacle is the place where Christ is truly and fully present under the appearances of bread and wine. The Eucharistic species are reserved to share with those unable to attend Mass and for the purpose of adoration. (CCC 1183, 1379-1381)

Ch 24:17 Other ancient authorities add verse 18: “I am the mother of beautiful love, of fear, of knowledge, and of holy hope; being eternal, I therefore am given to all my children, to those who are named by him.”

Ch 24:23 Other ancient authorities add verse 24: “Do not cease to be strong in the Lord, cleave to him so that he may strengthen you; the Lord Almighty alone is God, and besides him there is no savior.”

Ch 25:1-11 In addition to associating wisdom with true happiness, it is intimately united to the fear of the Lord, which consists in an eagerness to please God and to avoid sin. Another theme addressed in these verses is the cultivation of friendship: our inclination to socialize and form relationships reflects the Trinitarian life of the three divine Persons of the Trinity. (CCC 1878-1882, 1890-1891) 

Ch 25:11 Other ancient authorities add verse 12: The fear of the Lord is the beginning of love for him, and faith is the beginning of clinging to him.”

Ch 25:13-26 The negative comments about women in these verses reflect a biased view that women are inferior. Their exalted dignity and equality with men would begin to emerge in the Mosaic Law and culminate in the advent of Christ. Mistreatment of women, especially in ancient times, stems from the entrance of sin into the world. The redemption of Christ restored the original meaning of equality and complementarity between men and women. (CCC 372, 1610)

(*The Didache Bible RSV-CE Ignatius Edition, 2006)


(*Walking With God: A Journey Through The Bible by Tim Gray and Jeff Cavins)

Prayer by Fr. Mike: “Father in Heaven we give you praise and thank you. Thank you for this day. And thank you for this gift of being able to walk with your people, walk with your people in darkness, walk with your people in times of uncertainty, in times of violence, and in times of valiant living. But also, gosh Lord, we continue to see the ways in which wisdom wins and folly loses. So we ask you to please help us to be wise. Help us to be wise not only with what we do but also with what we don’t do. Help us be wise in how we act as well as how we don’t act, with what we say and what we do not say. We ask you to please bless us this day as you have and please receive our praise this day as you do. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.”