We are going to get to that word in just one second
Actually, let’s start here
In 2 Maccabees Ch 5 we have heard this story, but from a different perspective
We heard the story of Jason rising to power
We heard the story of Jason falling from power
We also have Antiochus existing
But beginning with 2 Maccabees 5:15 we have the Pillage of the Temple
It’s so interesting how the perspective in 1 Maccabees of the pillaging of the Temple is described
As compared to here in 2 Maccabees how the pillaging of the Temple is described
In this 2 Maccabees description it is AWFUL and HORRIBLE
At the same time, there is this sense of GOD IS INVOLVED IN THIS
Remember earlier in the Old Testament when the people of God experienced pain, exile, loss, destruction, and suffering
They said, “Yes, this is because we were unfaithful. And so this is the Lord God loving us. This is the Lord God teaching us. This is the Lord God bringing us back.”
So we have this again in 2 Maccabees Ch 5
The people of Israel are saying, “Yes, the reason why this happened is because we have been faithless, because we have done wrong. But not only is that just then, what’s happening to us is limited. It’s not only happening because God is just and he needs to bring us back to himself. But this is also limited. This will not be how it ends.”
Think about this
THIS IS AMAZING!!
At the end here, kind of the Jewish period, and before we launch into the FULFILLMENT OF JUDAISM which is CHRISTIANITY, here are the people of Israel, the Chosen People of God saying, “We’ve learned. We get it. Not only is this punishment upon us just, but this punishment upon us is finite. It is oriented towards bringing us back. When we come back, then the Lord will restore everything.”
THIS IS REMARKABLE!!
Then we get introduced, at the end of 2 Maccabees Ch 5, we meet Judas Maccabeus and the nine others who will run away
We are going to see Judas battling and all the other fighting for the independence of Israel and for the glory and holiness of the Temple
For the next couple of days we will see the WITNESS OF THE JEWISH MARTYRS
THEY ARE HEROIC
THEY ARE FAITHFUL
THEY ARE INCREDIBLE
So come back, and read with us for the next couple of days WHICH IS A GIFT
We have now completed The Book of Sirach
Hopefully it was filled with enlightenment and that sense of wisdom
If nothing else, and you can't remember a single thing from the Book of Sirach, remember this…
THE PURSUIT OF WISDOM!!
We will learn more about this as we start The Book of Wisdom
The pursuit of wisdom is not the MAIN goal of life
Obviously THE GOAL is the pursuit of the Lord himself, having communion with God himself
The pursuit of wisdom being the way that we are called to live and belong to God is the ECHO OF THE ENTIRE BOOK OF SIRACH AS WELL AS THE BOOK OF WISDOM
The Book of Wisdom is also marked not just by living wisely when dealing with other people
But also when it comes to DEALING WITH THE LORD
OUR HEARTS ARE IDOL MAKING FACTORIES
So how do we become wise when it comes to getting rid of idols and turning towards the TRUE AND LIVING GOD
Last thing in Proverbs 24:17-18, “Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, and let not your heart be glad when he stumbles; lest the Lord see it, and be displeased, and turn away his anger from him.”
It’s so interesting
Why would God in his Word include that for us?
The answer is kind of obvious
We have a tendency to rejoice when our enemies fall
It’s a German word called schadenfreude
The pleasure we take when we see other people get hurt, go in disgrace, or our enemies fall
There is a BROKENNESS in our hearts that of course, we want JUSTICE
YES THAT IS SO IMPORTANT
What is it that takes JOY in someone else’s PAIN?
Is this brokenness in our hearts?
Is it schadenfreude?
Schadenfreude is prohibited in Proverbs 24:17-18
So our prayer is not only to be wise and to know when to be faithful, to know when to stand strong, to know when to flee, know when to fight, know when to witness…
This call to say, “Ok, Lord, in my heart there are these broken parts and broken pieces that I rejoice, definitely, when my friends, the people I love succeed. But also, gosh Lord, there is this thing in me that rejoices when my enemies fail, when the people that I am annoyed by experience some kind of fall. I don’t want that to be there. So Lord, heal it.”
There is SO MUCH HEALING that God offers
There is SO MUCH HEALING that we need
SO PRAY FOR EACH OTHER
FR. MIKE IS PRAYING FOR YOU
PRAY FOR FR. MIKE