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(Part 228)


November 20, 2017
Today’s reading: 1 Maccabees 1:10-63

In the second century B.C., the Seleucid kings persecuted the Jews. They suppressed Judaism, and did it with utmost brutality. “In those days there appeared in Israel transgressors of the law who seduced many” (v.11a). Many Jews “abandoned the holy covenant” (v.15b). “As her glory had been, so great was her dishonor; her exaltation was turned into mourning.” (v.40). What a terrible time it was for God’s people.

The same thing is happening today. Not yet of the same intensity, but it can get there. Most Western nations, including Canada, the USA, Australia and those of Europe, are abandoning traditional Judeo-Christian faith, and persecuting faithful Christians. What has replaced authentic faith is Modernism and Secular Humanism.

What parallels can we see?

“In those days there appeared in Israel transgressors of the law” (v.11a)
Many in the Western world today, including so-called Christians, no longer obey God and His commandments.
“who seduced many” (v.11b)
Many are attracted by the lures of the world and the flesh.
“Thereupon they built a gymnasium in Jerusalem according to the Gentile custom.” (v.14)
Christian institutions like the YMCA and the Boy Scouts have been taken over by liberals and made secular and humanist.
“They disguised their circumcision and abandoned the holy covenant” (v.15a)
Many no longer overtly live out their faith.
“they allied themselves with the Gentiles and sold themselves to wrongdoing.” (v.15b)
Many have succumbed to the liberal culture of the day, fully participating in serious wrongdoing.
“He insolently entered the sanctuary” (v.21a)
Liberals and feminists have physically invaded churches and profaned sanctuaries.
“He insolently entered the sanctuary” (v.21a)
Liberals and feminists have physically invaded churches and profaned sanctuaries.
“They shed innocent blood” (v.37a)
Abortion has claimed millions of innocent children.
“they defiled the sanctuary” (v.37b)
Liberals and LGBT advocates have held profane celebrations in churches and around altars, including displaying the LBGT colors.
“her feasts were turned into mourning, her sabbaths to shame, her honor to contempt.” (v.39b)
Christian symbols such as crucifixes and the Ten Commandments have been removed from offices; those who pray publicly have been ostracized.
 “Then the king wrote to his whole kingdom that all should be one people.” (v.41)
 World powers-that-be are working at a one-world government, to be ruled by them of course.
 “and many Israelites delighted in his religion; they sacrificed to idols and profaned the sabbath.” (v.43)
  Many Christians have embraced the deadly isms of modernism and secular humanism.
 “The king sent letters by messenger to Jerusalem and to the cities of Judah, ordering them to follow customs foreign to their land; to prohibit burnt offerings, sacrifices, and libations in the sanctuary, to profane the sabbaths and feast days” (v.44-45)
 Liberals are working to pressure nations to accept LGBT, transgenderism and the culture of death, using embassies and world bodies such as the United Nations and the European Union.
 “to desecrate the sanctuaryand the sacred ministers” (v.46)
 Holy priests are targeted by liberals and pressured to conform to their agenda or just keep quiet.
 “to defile themselves with every kind of impurity and abomination” (v.48b)
 Sexual licentiousness is the order of the day, with such abominations as same-sex unions and other kinds of abominable sexual acts, such as with animals.
“so that they might forget the law and change all its ordinances.” (v.49)
 Liberals in the USA, like Hillary Clinton, have called for an overthrow of Christian faith and morality, and are violating religious freedom at every turn.
“Whoever refused to act according to the command of the king was to be put to death.” (v.50)
The killing of priests and committed Catholics by the state happened in Mexico in the 1920s. It can happen anywhere else.

Things will become worse, because the powers-that-be, represented by godless ideologies and governments, are determined to stamp out faith, which stands in the way of their evil agenda. Persecution will intensify. At its worse, those who strive to live out their Christian faith will not only be arrested and imprisoned, but even killed. “Whoever was found with a scroll of the covenant, and whoever observed the law, was condemned to death by royal decree.” (v.57). The full power of the totalitarian state will be brought to bear. “So they used their power against Israel, against those who were caught, each month, in the cities.” (v.58).

What are people of faith to do? We must resist the onslaught of the tsunami of evil upon the land. We must stand up for authentic faith, even in the face of persecution, even from civil authorities. “But many in Israel were determined and resolved in their hearts not to eat anything unclean” (v.62). We must be resolved to endure persecution rather than go along with evil, even to the point of death. “They preferred to die rather than to be defiled with food or to profane the holy covenant.” (v.63).

We must also intensify the work of evangelization and mission, according to the call of the New Evangelization, which aims to reach lapsed Catholics, and bring them back to God and back to the Church.

This work is urgent and crucial.

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