Thoughts and Reflection
Today we start the last book of the Old Testament. The story starts off with the feast of the purification of the temple – what we now is celebrated as Hanukkah.
The story of Nehemiah discovering the sacred fire, which the priests hid as the people were taken to Persia. Nehemiah is sent back to Jerusalem. The priests find the fire but it is turned into liquid. They put the fire on the altar and when the sun shines on it, it ignites. This is an example of God’s faithfulness. The people can be seen as sacred fire. When they were taken into exile, they lay dormant. Over time, they are brought back to the Temple and ignited.
About This Project
For the year 2022, I decided that my New Year’s Resolution was to read the whole Bible following the Bible in the Year plan presented by Fr. Mike Schmitz. It is a big and bold undertaking. You can follow along by subscribing. Feel free to look at previous day’s post and comment. It’s something we can all learn from together!
2 Maccabees 1
4 May he open your hearts to his Law and his precepts, and give you peace.
6 Such is our prayer for you.
7 ‘During the reign of Demetrius, in the year 169, we Jews wrote to you as follows, “In the extremity of trouble that befell us in the years after Jason and his associates had betrayed the Holy Land and the kingdom,
8 burning down the Temple gateway and shedding innocent blood, we prayed to the Lord and were then heard. And we then offered a sacrifice, with wheat-flour, we lit the lamps and we set out the loaves.”
10 ‘The people of Jerusalem and of Judaea, the senate and Judas, to Aristobulus, tutor to King Ptolemy and one of the family of the anointed priests, and to the Jews in Egypt, greetings and good health.
15 The priests of Nanaea had put these on display, and he for his part had entered the temple precincts with only a small retinue. As soon as Antiochus had gone inside the temple, the priests shut him in,
18 ‘As we shall be celebrating the purification of the Temple on the twenty-fifth of Chislev, we consider it proper to notify you, so that you too may celebrate it, as you do the feast of Shelters and the fire that appeared when Nehemiah, the builder of the Temple and the altar, offered sacrifice.
19 For when our ancestors were being deported to Persia, the devout priests of the time took some of the fire from the altar and hid it secretly in a hole like a dry well, where they concealed it in such a way that the place was unknown to anyone.
20 When some years had elapsed, in God’s good time, Nehemiah, commissioned by the king of Persia, sent the descendants of the priests who had hidden the fire to look for it. When they reported that in fact they had found not fire but a thick liquid, Nehemiah ordered them to draw some out and bring it back.
21 When they had done this, Nehemiah ordered the priests to pour this liquid over the sacrificial materials, that is, the wood and what lay on it.
26 accept this sacrifice on behalf of all your people Israel, and protect your heritage and consecrate it.
29 and plant your people firmly in your Holy Place, as Moses promised.”
33 When the matter became known and the king of the Persians heard that, in the place where the exiled priests had hidden the fire, a liquid had appeared, with which Nehemiah and his people had purified the sacrificial offerings,
1 Do not be envious of the wicked or wish for their company,
3 By wisdom a house is built, by understanding it is made strong;
4 by knowledge its storerooms are filled with riches of every kind, rare and desirable.
5 The wise is mighty in power, strength is reinforced by science;
7 For a fool wisdom is an inaccessible fortress: at the city gate he does not open his mouth.