Day 311: God Fights for You

2 Maccabees 14:1-46 Alcimus, the former high priest who had defected to the Hellenization party, plotted a return to office by convincing Demetrius I, the new king of Syria, to attack the Maccabees. Demetrius sent Nicanor to defeat Judas, but Nicanor was disheartened by Judas’ reputation; instead, he negotiated a peaceful friendship. When Alcimus accused Nicanor of treason before the king, Nicanor returned to engage Judas in battle. Judas, sensing trouble, went into hiding. The Temple priests refused to hand over Judas to Nicanor and instead prayed fervently that the Temple not be defiled as Nicanor had threatened. Razis’ suicide, though a gravely evil act, illustrates and extreme preference to die rather than transgress the Law. (CCC 2281-2282, 2325)

Ch 14:6 Hasideans: This conservative Jewish sect was active at the time and had joined with the Maccabees in the revolt. Later, the Hasideans withdrew from the alliance and even worked against the Maccabean reforms. Contrary to the words of Alcimus, Judas had never been a Hasidean. This group soon vanished, and it is proposed by some scholars that the Pharisees or the Essenes may have evolved out of them.

Wisdom 17:1-21 The author contrasts the plagues of darkness over Egypt with the light provided to Israel during that plague (cf. 18:1-4). Theophanies of God in Scripture often involve light-a sign of God’s presence-while darkness is generally an indication of evil or unbelief. While the Israelites wandered in the desert, they were guided by a luminous cloud in the form of a pillar (cf. Ex 13:21-22). Christ, who is “the way, the truth, and the life” (Jn 14:6), identified himself as the “light of the world” (Jn 8:12). (CCC 214, 457, 1691, 1707, 2466)

Ch 18:1-25 In juxtaposing Pharaoh’s command to kill all the newborn Hebrew males with the final plague by which the Egyptians suffered the deaths of their own firstborn male children, the author demonstrates how divine justice prevailed. The firstborn males of the Israelites were spared by the blood of a sacrificial lamb, which is a type of Christ, the Lamb of God (cf. Jn 1:29), who redeemed all people from sin and death (TYPOLOGY!!). After parting the Red Sea, Moses led the Chosen People to the Promised Land, which is a type of Christ leading his people into Heaven (TYPOLOGY!!).

Ch 18:13 In this instance “God’s son” refers collectively to the people of Israel; it refers especially to Jesus Christ, who in his divine nature is consubstantial with the Father. It also refers to Christians who have been raised through sanctifying grace to become adopted children of God. (CCC 441)

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

Prayer by Fr. Mike: “Father in Heaven we give you praise and glory. Thank you so much. Thank you for this day. Thank you for the opportunity to be able to once again come into your Presence, to allow your Word to speak to us to shape our minds, our hearts. To tell us not only who you are, but how to love. How to live in this world. We ask that you please continue to open our minds, continue to shape our vision, and continue to call us your own. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.”