Day 299: Jeremiah Hides the Ark
2 Maccabees 2:1-18 Drawing from earlier accounts involving Nehemiah and Solomon, Judas established directives for the sacrifices offered at the rededicated Temple. God, always faithful to his covenants, had saved Israel once again.
Ch 2:19-32 The Sacred Author’s purpose for writing was to provide both a summary of the revolt against the unjust oppressors of Israel and to show God’s predilection for the people of Israel.
Sirach 42:1-8 No one must ever be ashamed to act virtuously and prudently.
Ch 42:9-14 Though this book was written in a time marked by a double standard, his encouragement of paternal concern for a daughter to maintain chastity before marriage is a valid disposition for all times. (CCC 2344-2345, 2395)
Ch 42:15-25 The final part of this book recalls God’s wisdom experienced throughout history, from creation through the various patriarchs and up nearly to the prophets of the author’s day. The created world reflects God’s eternal wisdom. The harmonious symphony of every created being with its wide array of qualities and functions attests to God’s inexpressible knowledge and power. (CCC 292, 315, 339)
Ch 42:15 By the words...works are done: This is an obvious reference to the creation narrative in Genesis. Through a mere act of God’s will, described as a verbal command, all of creation unfolded in indescribable splendor and magnificence. (CCC 299)
Ch 43:1-33 The celestial bodies and all of nature reflect God’s glory and power. It should instill a sense of awe and lead to habitual sentiments of praise and adoration.
Ch 43:27-28 Though all of creation is both caused by God and sustained by God, he can only be known indirectly since he transcends the created world absolutely. By analogy, creation tells us that God is infinitely knowing, good, and powerful. However, only through his positive Revelation in Scripture and through his ultimate self-Revelation in the Incarnation can we know God directly. (CCC 300, 2129)
Ch 44:1-50:21 Beginning here and continuing through the end of Chapter 49 is an extended eulogy to a number of important figures who had had an impact on the history of Israel. After summarizing the main ideas of this book, the Sacred Author describes how each person exercised a wisdom that was linked intimately with obedience to the Commandments and with fear of the Lord. The Church likewise memorializes saints, who serve as marvelous examples of virtue and the spiritual potential of every person. (CCC 1067-1068, 1172-1173, 1195)
(*The Didache Bible RSV-CE Ignatius Edition, 2006)
Only 66 more days!!
GOSH YOU GUYS!!
How awesome is 2 Maccabees?
FR. MIKE TOLD YOU!!
It’s not to say that 1 Maccabees was “dry” or “just going through the motions.”
In 2 Maccabees we got some insight
For example, what the heck happened to the Ark?
If you listened to Era 10: Maccabean Revolt with Jeff Cavins then you heard about how Jeremiah at one point 500 BC or so, with all this stuff going down, he took the tent, the altar, and the Ark and put them in a secret cave
Basically where Moses had been buried as well
Jeremiah left this cave unmarked
THIS IS GOING TO BE SO INCREDIBLE!!
You know, you guys, in 60 or so days we will hear something in The Book of Revelation Ch 12
From this moment, the moment of Jeremiah 500 plus years before Jesus is the LAST TIME ANYONE SAW THE ARK
Remember the Presence of God would abide in the Ark
What were the three things present in the Ark?
Aaron’s Staff which is the SYMBOL OF THE HIGH PRIEST
Manna which is the BREAD OF HEAVEN
The Ten Commandments aka The Law of Moses aka The Word of God which is THE WORD MADE FLESH IN JESUS CHRIST
So we know now that Mary is the NEW ARK OF THE COVENANT (Do you remember when we learned this? Go back and read Day 43: The Ark of the Covenant in The Bible in a Year Study Guide for a refresher 😁)
And what does that make Jesus?
Jesus is THE HIGH PRIEST
Jesus is THE WORD BECOME FLESH AND DWELLING AMONG US
Jesus is THE TRUE BREAD FROM HEAVEN as he says in John Ch 6
So Revelation Ch 12 is the NEXT TIME we will see the Ark of the Covenant
At this point the people have a Temple that is EMPTY
300 or so years before the Maccabees
They are REWINDING TO SHOW that there may be a rebuilding and reconsecration of the TEMPLE
That Temple is going to be EMPTY
Yes, there will be sacrifices offered there
The Temple is going to be BEREFT of the Presence of God in THIS PARTICULAR WAY that signified and made REAL by the ARK OF THE COVENANT
THIS IS BONKERS!!
So this happened in 2 Maccabees Ch 2
Fr. Mike also loves The Compiler’s Preface near the end of Ch 2
There is a five volume set by Jason of Cyrene telling the entire story of Judas Maccabeus and all of his brothers and everything that happened with Antiochus IV Epiphanes and his son Jupiter, all this….
This is a summary basically, for the next 13 chapters beginning with Ch 3 till Ch 15….this is a summary
So basically, “I am going to distill this into making this as short and brief as possible. But I’m going to highlight [now, he doesn’t really say this but he kind of says this 🤔] God’s role in all of this. I'm going to highlight the faithfulness of the people. Not just the battles of Judas Maccabeus and the other people who were involved in this. But I am going to highlight where God was in this and how people were called to be GREAT HEROES in not abandoning the faith, and how some DID abandon the faith.”
THIS IS REMARKABLE!!
Reading these stories of people, that we know their names now, for the last 16 days of reading 1 Maccabees we got to know Judas Maccabeus, son of Mattathias, and his brothers Jonathan and Simon, and his son John
All these people are names we remember
Then we realize there are folks who are REMEMBERED and there are folks that are NOT REMEMBERED
It’s important to remember history
It’s important to honor those who have gone before us as much as we possibly can
At some point, as we have said before, EVERY SINGLE ONE OF US WILL BE FORGOTTEN
It’s still GOOD to live in such a way that when people REMEMBER us, what do they REMEMBER?
We may not be remembered by people around the world
When your kids remember you…maybe your grandkids...maybe your great-grandkids
So when your kids remember you, WHAT WILL THEY REMEMBER?
Sirach Ch 44 is Praise of Our Fathers
Praise to those people that has gone before us
What will the people who love us remember about us?
That’s a pretty good question
Will they remember this…
Will they remember that WE LOVED THEM?
Will they remember that WE LOVED THE LORD?
Will they know that they know Jesus just a little bit better because of us?
I hope so
I hope that’s true for my family
I hope that’s true for Fr. Mike’s students
If they forget you, no problem
If they know Jesus because of the WITNESS that we are able to give to them…
THAT IS ENOUGH!!!
Even if they forget OUR NAMES…
If they never forget HIS name that would be ENOUGH
Sirach 43:27, “Though we speak much we cannot reach the end, and the sum of our words is: ‘He is the all.’”
We can talk about God FOREVER
We could praise God FOREVER
THOUGH WE SPEAK MUCH WE CANNOT REACH THE END…
AND THE SUM OF OUR WORDS IS: “HE IS THE ALL.”
Sirach 43:38, “Where shall we find strength to praise him? For he is greater than all his works. Terrible is the Lord and very great, and marvelous is his power. When you praise the Lord, exalt him as much as you can; for he will surpass even that. When you exalt him, put forth all your strength, and do not grow weary, for you cannot praise him enough.”
WHAT AN INCREDIBLE GIFT!!
IT IS TRUE!!
To be able to KNOW the Lord like that…
To be able to PRAISE the Lord like that…
IS SUCH AN INCREDIBLE GIFT!!
SO WE PRAY FOR THAT GIFT!!
HE IS THE ALL!!
“God, you are the ALL. We thank you. We praise you. And we love you. Help us to love you better.”
Brothers and sisters, my friends, Fr. Mike is praying for you!
PRAY FOR FATHER MIKE!!
WHEW WHAT A GIFT!!
PRAY FOR EACH OTHER
Prayer by Fr. Mike: “Father in Heaven we give you praise and glory. Thank you so much. In the name of your Son, Jesus, please receive our thanks today. Please, Lord God, receive our prayer of giving you praise and giving you the blessing that is yours. You are Good. You are Glorified. Help us to glorify you in our speech. Help us to glorify you in our actions in everything we choose to do today. Help us to glorify you by the things we choose not to do. Lord God, that will come across our plates today that we...hmmm...Lord, you call us to say no to them. You call us to let them go. You call us to put them down. You call us to set them free, and by doing so, setting ourselves free for loving you and for loving the people around us. Help us to let go of anger, bitterness, and resentment. Help us to let go of greed, pride, and vanity. Lord, help us to let go of anything and everything that keeps us from you. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.”