November 20, 2019
It happened that seven brothers with their mother were arrested and tortured with whips and scourges by the king, to force them to eat pork in violation of God’s law. Most admirable and worthy of everlasting remembrance was the mother, who saw her seven sons perish in a single day, yet bore it courageously because of her hope in the Lord. 2_Mc_7:1,20-31
Concluding His ‘Parable of the Talents,’ Jesus said, “I tell you, to everyone who has, more will be given, but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.” Lk_19:11-28
Today’s readings remind us that the Lord does not want us to sit by idly, waiting for His promise of resurrection and eternal life – without standing up for Him now. He wants us to grow in our faith. He wants us to multiply His believers by sharing His love, and to expect that when we DO grow in our faith and in numbers, even more responsibility will be given to us as His disciples.
In other words, we might say that God is not looking for bankers, but for investment brokers. And we become those brokers when we’re willing to take a little risk, like offering a smile to someone who’s having a rough day, like, offering a prayer to someone who’s hurting, even when it was not asked for.
When we’re willing to step out of the crowd and not agree with the immorality, the injustice, and the ignorance of our world – about what “respect for human dignity” really means, then we’re being those investment brokers that God wants us to be.
Today we heard a little more of the Maccabean story that we just heard in our Sunday Reading a couple of weeks ago. It was a time of merciless and brutal persecution of the Jews by the ruthless, Roman King Antiochus. And the story shows us, not only the fearless courage of the seven brothers who died for their faith, but also of their loving mother who encouraged them, despite their suffering.
It reminds us of our own Spiritual Mother, Mary, inspiring us by her passion, through the brutal torture and crucifixion of Her beloved Son. And it reminds us that she’s still here with us today, bringing us hope, giving us strength, and pointing us always, to the love, the promise and the blessings of Jesus.
As we finish out these last two weeks before our Advent Season begins, our Scriptures prepare us for endings. And the history of the Israelite Nation was filled with endings: from the ending of Egyptian exile, to the ending of Babylonian exile, from the ending of life under Roman persecution, to the ending of an Old Covenant under Moses.
And in every case, all the suffering of their persecution ended in New Life. With the ending of the Old Mosaic Covenant, Jesus offers all of us His New Covenant of Hope and Promise and Eternal Life. And it’s all available through our investment and sharing of His Love with the world!
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