Day 304: Life Beyond Death

2 Maccabees 7:1-42 One of the best-known passages from the Books of Maccabees is this account of the martyrdom of a mother and her seven sons. The willingness to sacrifice one’s life rather than transgress the Law and Commandments is a frequent theme in Maccabees. Despite torture, the entire family remained faithful and offered the supreme sacrifice of their love and fidelity. 

Ch 7:9-29 We have died for his laws: Abiding in the truth as expressed by obedience to God’s Law often requires considerable sacrifice of comfort, popularity, and even life itself. The ultimate witness to the truth is martyrdom, which is the most convincing argument that God is the absolute good. (CCC 992, 1680)

Ch 7:22-29 The mother’s encouragement of her sons in the face of death provides a powerful witness to faith in God the Creator and hints at a perfect happiness in the afterlife. God alone creates out of nothing and keeps everything in existence. The mother trusted and marveled at the life-giving power of God, leading her to place great hope in his mercy in rewarding her sons for their fidelity to the Commandments. (CCC 296-297)

Ch 7:28 The mother’s private encouragement to her youngest son was even more explicit in revealing her future hope. This belief in the resurrection stirred up the hope that God might reunite her family in a new life after death. God who created us out of love could certainly reward us with the fullness of life. (CCC 297, 992)

Wisdom 3:1-19 In one of the first instances in the Old Testament, the author elaborates on the nature of the afterlife both for the righteous and for the sinful. The righteous can look forward with hope to a bountiful reward in the Kingdom of God for their virtuous life and patience in suffering, while the evil, who despise wisdom, will know no happiness in this life and will receive punishment in the next according to their evil deeds. (CCC 1878, 2007)

Ch 3:5-6 Disciplined them: God disciplines his people as a father lovingly disciplines his children with the purpose of freeing them from vice and forming them in virtue. We are tested and purified through trials and tribulations just as metal is refined in a furnace. (CCC 696, 2223)

Ch 3:9 It is most reasonable to give full assent to God’s infinite wisdom and love as expressed in his Divine Revelation, which is contained in Scripture together with Tradition. The authority of God is the inspiration for a life of faith, expressed in thoughts and actions that are in accordance with his commands. (CCC 154, 176-177)

Ch 4:1-16 The spiritual life is meant to start from a person’s earliest years and grow with him or her through adulthood and into old age. Wisdom, however, does not depend on age as much as the sincere and ongoing quest to grow in holiness. Confirmation is a Sacrament that congers special graces so an individual can grow in spiritual maturity and fortitude. (CCC 1308, 1833-1834)

Ch 4:7-16 In the face of heavenly reward, an early death is a blessing. This book suggests that God, in his infinite wisdom, may call a righteous person out of this world to spare that person from temptation to sin that might imperil salvation. The richness and value of a life is not determined by age but by holiness expressed in charity. Many saints of the Church, including Paul, expressed a desire for death since they yearned to be with Christ and were eager to contemplate God face to face. (CCC 1011)

Ch 4:17-20 The wicked will be judged on account of their sins and, thereby, deprived of a glorious new life in Heaven. (CCC 1035)

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

Drawing Down God’s Mercy 

(*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. Gosh, Lord God, thank you for faithfulness. Thank you for your faithfulness. Help us. Help us to know how to be faithful to you. Help us to know when it is time to give witness to you. Help us to know when it is time to stand strong. Heop us to know when it is time to declare your goodness and your Mighty Works in our lives every day. Lord God, sometimes it is difficult to know how to speak about you. Difficult to know when to stand strong. Difficult to know when it’s time to be quiet. But help us to walk in wisdom. Help us to live in your will. Help us to always do everything we can to accomplish your will in our lives. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.”