Day 312: Conclusion to the Old Testament

2 Maccabees 15:1-39 Nicanor placed himself explicitly on a plane even above God himself. Reminded that the “Sovereign in heaven” established the Sabbath rest, he stated that he himself was a sovereign and commanded an attack on Judas’ army on the Sabbath. Judas’ dream symbolically granted him permission to fight on the Sabbath: Onias represented the Law, Jeremiah represented the prophets, and both encouraged Judas to take his army into battle against Nicanor’s army. The Syrian forces were defeated, Nicanor was killed, and his decapitated head was displayed for the viewing of the Syrians stationed in Jerusalem. 

Ch 15:37 Historically, the Jews won a victory and reassumed control of the Temple, but they had not yet recovered the entire city since the Syrians still controlled the citadel in Jerusalem. 

Wisdom 19:1-22 Throughout the Exodus narrative, God’s justice and mercy are most evident: The Egyptians suffered the pain of divine punishment for refusing to treat the Jewish people with dignity and grant them freedom. In the case of the plagues, God worked preternatural phenomena to achieve his will. God readily forgives the repentant sinner but will mete out just punishment to those who persist in their evil ways.

Ch 19:22 The power of God’s wisdom in leading the Chosen People, and all people of good will, summarizes this book.

Proverbs 25:21-22 The practice of charity toward one’s enemies can sometimes lead to their conversion. For this reason the charity of “coals of fire” is an act of love intended to lead the sinner to repentance and conversion. Though we reject the sin, we always love the sinner with an attitude of wanting to bring about reconciliation and restored friendship. A wrongdoer expects to receive evil for evil, and charity tends to defuse that vicious cycle. (CCC 1933, 2303, 2844)

(*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 not only for your justice, but also for your mercy and how you teach us to love our enemies and do good for those who hate us. Thank you for that. Help us to be able to do it. Help us to even love our neighbors. Help us to even love our friends well. Because Lord, when it comes to love, it is what we are made for. And it’s something we struggle to do. So help us. Help us this day and every day. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.”