Thoughts and Reflection
Today we are reminded that punishments are not something that should bring us down but rather we should see it as discipline by our loving father. While God waits for other nations to reach the apex of their wickedness before he destroys them, he does not do this to his people of Israel. He comes to correct them, never to destroy them.
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 6
1 Shortly afterwards, the king sent Gerontes the Athenian to force the Jews to violate their ancestral customs and live no longer by the laws of God;
3 The advent of these evils was painfully hard for all the people to bear.
4 The Temple was filled with revelling and debauchery by the gentiles, who took their pleasure with prostitutes and had intercourse with women in the sacred precincts, introducing other indecencies besides.
6 No one might either keep the Sabbath or observe the traditional feasts, or so much as admit to being a Jew.
7 People were driven by harsh compulsion to take part in the monthly ritual meal commemorating the king’s birthday; and when a feast of Dionysus occurred, they were forced to wear ivy wreaths and walk in the Dionysiac procession.
11 Other people, who had assembled in some near-by caves to keep the seventh day without attracting attention, were denounced to Philip, and were then all burnt to death together, since their consciences would not allow them to defend themselves, out of respect for the holiness of the day.
16 And so he never entirely withdraws his mercy from us; he may discipline us by some disaster, but he does not desert his own people.
18 Eleazar, one of the foremost teachers of the Law, a man already advanced in years and of most noble appearance, had his mouth forced open, to make him eat a piece of pork.
19 But he, resolving to die with honour rather than to live disgraced, walked of his own accord to the torture of the wheel,
21 The people supervising the ritual meal, forbidden by the Law, because of the length of time for which they had known him, took him aside and privately urged him to have meat brought of a kind he could properly use, prepared by himself, and only pretend to eat the portions of sacrificial meat as prescribed by the king;
23 But having taken a noble decision worthy of his years and the dignity of his great age and the well-earned distinction of his grey hairs, worthy too of his impeccable conduct from boyhood, and above all of the holy legislation established by God himself, he answered accordingly, telling them to send him at once to Hades.
28 and I shall have left the young a noble example of how to make a good death, eagerly and generously, for the venerable and holy laws.’ So saying, he walked straight to the wheel,
30 He for his part, just before he died under the blows, gave a sigh and said, ‘The Lord whose knowledge is holy sees clearly that, though I might have escaped death, from awe of him I gladly endure these agonies of body under the lash, and that in my soul I am glad to suffer.’
31 This was how he died, leaving his death as an example of nobility and a record of virtue not only for the young but for the greater part of the nation.
1 Love uprightness you who are rulers on earth, be properly disposed towards the Lord and seek him in simplicity of heart;
2 for he will be found by those who do not put him to the test, revealing himself to those who do not mistrust him.
5 for the holy spirit of instruction flees deceitfulness, recoils from unintelligent thoughts, is thwarted by the onset of vice.
13 For God did not make Death, he takes no pleasure in destroying the living.
1 And this is the false argument they use, ‘Our life is short and dreary, there is no remedy when our end comes, no one is known to have come back from Hades.
2 We came into being by chance and afterwards shall be as though we had never been. The breath in our nostrils is a puff of smoke, reason a spark from the beating of our hearts;
3 extinguish this and the body turns to ashes, and the spirit melts away like the yielding air.
4 In time, our name will be forgotten, nobody will remember what we have done; our life will pass away like wisps of cloud, dissolving like the mist that the sun’s rays drive away and that its heat dispels.
5 For our days are the passing of a shadow, our end is without return, the seal is affixed and nobody comes back.
6 ‘Come then, let us enjoy the good things of today, let us use created things with the zest of youth:
10 ‘As for the upright man who is poor, let us oppress him; let us not spare the widow, nor respect old age, white-haired with many years.
13 He claims to have knowledge of God, and calls himself a child of the Lord.
15 for his kind of life is not like other people’s, and his ways are quite different.
16 In his opinion we are counterfeit; he avoids our ways as he would filth; he proclaims the final end of the upright as blessed and boasts of having God for his father.
17 Let us see if what he says is true, and test him to see what sort of end he will have.
22 They do not know the hidden things of God, they do not hope for the reward of holiness, they do not believe in a reward for blameless souls.
23 For God created human beings to be immortal, he made them as an image of his own nature;
21 Fear Yahweh, my child, and fear the king; do not ally yourself with innovators;
25 but those who correct him, come out of it well, on them will come a happy blessing.
26 Whoever returns an honest answer, plants a kiss on the lips.