Day 295: Israel's Expectations

1 Maccabees 14:1-49 As high priest and governor of Israel, Simon received wide acclaim among the people of Israel for his faithfulness and his great accomplishments. He began the era known as the Hasmonean dynasty of Israel (140 BC to 37 BC).

Until a trustworthy prophet should arise: Simon’s reign was only temporary; the Jews were looking for a new great prophet to arise in the hope that he would anoint a new and powerful king. Jesus Christ, the greatest prophet and king, would be introduced by the extraordinary prophet John the Baptist. (CCC 578, 711, 713)

Sirach 34:1-18 Wisdom is always based on objective truth abstracted from reality. The wise person should always view the circumstances and events of daily life through the prism of God’s goodness and will.

Ch 34:19-22 To deprive the poor of basic needs, whether through commission or omission, is a grave evil. The strong language of this passage equates taking away a person’s livelihood with taking away his or her very life. Every person and government is obliged to ensure that everyone can live in dignity with sufficient food, shelter, clothing, and access to healthcare. Unjust treatment of the worker is one of the sins that cry to heaven. (CCC 1867, 2434, 2445-2446)

Ch 34:23-26 This section uses the Jewish purification law to illustrate the need to remain repentant. Just as it does not make sense to wash when one intends to get dirty again, repentance is flawed when a firm purpose of amendment is lacking. (CCC 1431, 1450-1453)

Ch 35:1-20 The author identifies three kinds of offerings that are pleasing to God: almsgiving, fidelity to the Law, and generous sacrifices. God is eternal wisdom and, therefore, every law, whether physical or moral, reflects his infinite knowledge and love.

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

And the Jews and their priests decided that Simon should be their leader and high priest forever, until a trustworthy prophet should arise, and that he should be governor over them and that he should take charge of the sanctuary and appoint men over its tasks and over the country and the weapons and the strongholds, and that he should take charge of the sanctuary, and that he should be obeyed by all, and that all contracts in the country should be written in his name, and that he should be clothed in purple and wear gold. And none of the people or priests shall be permitted to nullify any of these decisions or to oppose what he says, or to convene an assembly in the country without his permission, or to be clothed in purple or put on a gold buckle. Whoever acts contrary to these decisions or nullifies any of them shall be liable to punishment. (1 Mc 14:41-45) 

(*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. Thank you so much once again for a new day where you reveal your Word to us and help us to put it into practice, to love your Word, to love your Will, and to do it with everything we have. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.”