Thoughts and Reflection
Today we read in Proverbs that if we have patience and we are consistent, then we can accomplish great things. We also hear about the virtue of temperance — knowing when we have had enough.
In Wisdom, we hear about how people can make gods out of the good things that surround them. In the ancient world, some cultures would make idols out of things like snakes and flies. They would worship something that doesn’t have ability or nobility. We might do the same thing and set up rivals for God in our hearts, but our relationship with God doesn’t allow for any rivals.
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 13
1 In the year one hundred and forty-nine, Judas and his men discovered that Antiochus Eupator was advancing in force against Judaea,
2 and with him Lysias his tutor and chief minister; he had moreover a Greek force of one hundred and ten thousand infantry, five thousand three hundred cavalry, twenty-two elephants, and three hundred chariots fitted with scythes.
3 Menelaus, too, joined them and very craftily kept urging Antiochus on, not for the welfare of his own country but in the hope of being restored to office.
4 But the King of kings stirred up the anger of Antiochus against the guilty wretch, and when Lysias made it clear to the king that Menelaus was the cause of all the troubles, Antiochus gave orders for him to be taken to Beroea and there put to death by the local method of execution.
6 If anyone is convicted of sacrilegious theft or of some other heinous crime, he is taken up to the top and pushed over to perish.
7 In such a manner was the renegade fated to die; Menelaus had not even the privilege of burial.
10 When Judas heard of this, he ordered the people day and night to call on the Lord as never before, to come to the help of those who were in peril of being deprived of the Law, their fatherland and the holy Temple,
12 When they had all, with one voice, obeyed his instructions and had made their petitions to the merciful Lord, weeping, fasting and prostrating themselves for three days continuously, Judas spoke words of encouragement and told them to keep close to him.
13 After separate consultation with the elders, he resolved not to wait for the king’s army to invade Judaea and take possession of the city, but to march out and settle the whole matter with the Lord’s help.
14 Having thus committed the outcome to the Creator of the world, and having exhorted his soldiers to fight bravely to the death for the laws, the Temple, the city, their country and their way of life, he encamped his army near Modein.
15 Giving his men the password ‘Victory from God’, he made a night attack on the king’s pavilion with a picked band of the bravest young men. Inside the camp he destroyed about two thousand, and his men cut down the largest of the elephants with its mahout;
17 just as dawn was breaking. This was achieved, thanks to the protection which the Lord granted Judas.
18 The king, having had a taste of Jewish daring, now tried to capture their positions by trickery.
23 He was then told that Philip, left in charge of affairs, had rebelled in Antioch. He was stunned by this, opened negotiations with the Jews, came to an agreement, and swore to abide by all reasonable conditions. Agreement reached, he offered a sacrifice, honoured the Temple, and made generous gifts to the holy place.
24 He received Maccabaeus kindly and, leaving Hegemonides to exercise command from Ptolemais to the territory of the Gerrenians,
26 Lysias mounted the rostrum and made a convincing defence of the provisions which convinced and calmed them and won their goodwill. He then withdrew to Antioch. So much for the episode of the king’s offensive and retreat.
1 But you, our God, are kind and true, slow to anger, governing the universe with mercy.
2 Even if we sin, we are yours, since we acknowledge your power, but we will not sin, knowing we count as yours.
5 the sight of which sets fools yearning and hankering for the lifeless form of an unbreathing image.
6 Lovers of evil and worthy of such hopes are those who make them, those who want them and those who worship them.
7 Take a potter, now, laboriously working the soft earth, shaping each object for us to use. Out of the self-same clay, he models vessels intended for a noble use and those for a contrary purpose, all alike: but which of these two uses each will have is for the potter himself to decide.
8 Then — ill — spent effort!-from the same clay he models a futile god, although so recently made out of earth himself and shortly to return to what he was taken from, when asked to give back the soul that has been lent to him.
9 Even so, he does not worry about having to die or about the shortness of his life, but strives to outdo the goldsmiths and silversmiths, imitates the bronzeworkers, and prides himself on modelling counterfeits.
11 For he has misconceived the One who has modelled him, who breathed an active soul into him and inspired a living spirit.
14 But most foolish, more pitiable even than the soul of a little child, are the enemies who once played the tyrant with your people,
15 and have taken all the idols of the heathen for gods; these can use neither their eyes for seeing nor their nostrils for breathing the air nor their ears for hearing nor the fingers on their hands for handling nor their feet for walking.
17 subject to death, his impious hands can produce only something dead. He himself is worthier than the things he worships; he will at least have lived, but never they.
1 Thus they were appropriately punished by similar creatures and tormented by swarms of vermin.
3 Thus the Egyptians, at the repulsive sight of the creatures sent against them, were to find that, though they longed for food, they had lost their natural appetite; whereas your own people, after a short privation, were to have a rare relish for their portion.
13 Yes, you are the one with power over life and death, bringing to the gates of Hades and back again.
20 How differently with your people! You gave them the food of angels, from heaven untiringly providing them bread already prepared, containing every delight, to satisfy every taste.
21 And the substance you gave showed your sweetness towards your children, for, conforming to the taste of whoever ate it, it transformed itself into what each eater wished.
23 whereas, on the other hand, it would even forget its own strength in the service of feeding the upright.
29 whereas the hope of the ungrateful melts like winter frost and flows away like water running to waste.
15 With patience a judge may be cajoled: a soft tongue breaks bones.
16 Eat to your satisfaction what honey you may find, but not to excess or you will bring it up again.