THE SERVANT GENERAL
November 21, 2019
1 Maccabees 2:15-29
Jesus lamented for Jerusalem, the holy city, because it “did
not recognize the time of (its) visitation.” (Lk 19:44c).
Jesus was the Prince of Peace and had come to bring peace
(shalom) to God’s people, but the people rejected him.
So they would suffer the consequences. They would be devastated
by their enemies.
is the same situation today. Christians are those who accepted
Jesus. But today many Christians have again rejected him.
And we are suffering the consequences.
are very many conflicts, some very bloody. Societies, and
even families, are torn apart. The world is enmeshed in
darkness and evil. There is no peace. “If this day
you only knew what makes for peacebut now it is hidden
from your eyes.” (Lk 19:42). Only in Jesus can there
be peace. Not in the United Nations. Not in the social work
of well-meaning individuals. But the world, including many
in the Christian world, have rejected Jesus. So there is
who still want to live out their Christian faith are being
persecuted, not just at the hands of non-Christians but
even fellow Christians. “They will encircle you and
hem you in on all sides.” (Lk 19:43b). In the Christian
West, there is an all-out assault against faith, family
and life. The legal, economic, political and cultural systems
are being weaponized to prevent Christians from freely living
out their faith.
is a concerted and determined effort to promote the culture
of death, especially abortion. “They will smash you
to the ground and your children within you” (Lk 19:44a).
Even politicians who claim to be devout Catholics are rabidly
pro-abortion. Abortion is being elevated by its proponents
to the level not just of a human right but even a sacrament.
are aggressively pushing their agenda, backed by powerful
economic and political forces. LGBT forces are imposing
their will on everyone, including Catholic schools, public
libraries and churches. Their goal is to totally destroy
Judeo-Christian life, morality and culture. “They
will not leave one stone upon another within you”
(Lk 19:44b). They are dismantling the culture of life, stone
In the face of this all-out assault, many Christians have
become complicit, or have just remained silent, cowering in
fear. The apostasy continues. We are losing this war. There
is a need for holy warriors to rise up. Such were Mattathias
and his sons.
Greek king Antiochus had conquered Israel and had instituted
religious persecution, attempting to stamp out the Jewish
faith, putting to death all those who resisted. Is not this
what is happening today? Radical Islamists and fundamentalist
Hindus force conversion by Christians. But even within the
Church in Christian lands, modernists and secular humanists
are assaulting the authentic Christian faith, effectively
trying to stamp it out and replace it with a man-centered
resisted, and rose in rebellion against the king. Mattathias
shows us the way to becoming holy warriors today.
We are not to conform to the zeitgeist, no matter how the
powers-that-be try to coerce us. “Yet I and my sons
and my kindred will keep to the covenant of our ancestors.”
(1 Mc 2:20).
will not obey immoral laws. “We will not obey the
words of the king by departing from our religion in the
slightest degree.” (1 Mc 2:22). What is legal is not
necessarily moral or right. A prime example would be abortion,
but there are many other immoral laws.
must be zealous for God and His work. “He was filled
with zeal” (1 Mc 2:24a). We cannot just allow the
forces of evil to overrun the world and even our Church.
Zeal for the house of the Lord must consume us, just as
it did with Jesus, who violently drove the merchants and
moneychangers out of the temple.
must fight fiercely for what is just and right and good.
“His heart was moved and his just fury was aroused”
(1 Mc 2:24b).Is righteous anger still aroused today, seeing
all the evil around us? Now let us not kill those who “offer
sacrifice on the altar of Modein” (1 Mc 2:23b) as
Mattathias did. But yes, let us be militant. Are we who
remain in this world not called the Church Militant? Let
us be aggressive not just in resisting the enemy, but in
moving forward the cause of Christ.
must be willing to suffer the consequences. “Then
he and his sons fled to the mountains, leaving behind in
the city all their possessions.” (1 Mc 2:28). We face
a very powerful enemy, backed by powerful earthly forces
that dominate the social, cultural and economic environment.
Those who resist can be charged and end up paying heavy
fines, closure of business, and even prison. But just like
the first apostles, we must be willing to leave everything
behind in order to follow and serve Christ.
must strengthen our community as the environment where we
have support and where Christ is still at the center. “At
that time many who sought righteousness and justice went
out into the wilderness to settle there” (1 Mc 2:29).
We have the option of going to church in parishes that do
not condone immorality and wrongdoing, and shun parishes
that are infested by liberals, both clergy and parishioners,
and who celebrate LGBT. We have the option of moving into
states or provinces that are more pro-God, pro-family and
pro-life. But if those options are not practicable, we can
strengthen our community life and mission where we are.
life is to be counter-cultural. We are to be in the world
but not of the world. We are to resist the zeitgeist. In this,
all members of the family are important. We are Missionary
Families of Christ. Even as many Catholics have left the Church
or are even acting against the authentic faith, we must remain
steadfast. We must never yield to the culture of the day.
“Many of Israel joined them, but Mattathias and his
sons drew together.” (1 Mc 2:16). Like Joshua we say,
“As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”
Like Mattathias we say, “I and my sons and my kindred
will keep to the covenant of our ancestors.” (1 Mc 2:20).
says to us, “Gather my loyal ones to me, those who made
a covenant with me by sacrifice.” (Ps 50:5). Do we as
MFC not have a covenant with our God? Are we not to remain
totally faithful and loyal to the Lord? We must live out every
element of our covenant. “Fulfill your vows to the Most
High.” (Ps 50:14b).
war is brutal. We will be bruised and bloodied. Even now,
the enemy moves inexorably forward. These are times of great
distress. But where evil abounds, grace abounds even more.
So these are great times for the authentic people of God.
Jesus, who has already crushed the head of the serpent, leads
us to victory. “Then call on me on the day of distress;
I will rescue you, and you shall honor me.” (Ps 50:15).
Let our war cry as holy warriors be: “Let everyone who
is zealous for the law and who stands by the covenant follow
me!” (1 Mc 2:27). Ho-wa!!