TUESDAY, THIRTY THIRD WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary
2 Mc 6: 18-31; Ps 3: 2-7; Lk 19: 1-10
LEADING BY EXAMPLE
In 167 BC, King Antiochus Epiphanies issued an edict which cancelled the concessions made by his father to the Jews. He prohibited the religious customs of the Jews and imposed Greek customs. The Jews were compelled to violate the law and its ordinances. Antiochus had forbidden the Jewish practices and imposed the sacrifices of unclean animals. He cancelled the observances of the Sabbath and the traditional feast, banned circumcision, compelled the Jews to eat pork and finally decreed that the copies of the Law were to be destroyed and their possession outlawed. He also built pagan altars, temples and shrines throughout the land and forced the Jews to sacrifice to idols. They had to participate in the feast of Dionysius (Bacchus) and in the monthly sacrifice in honour of the King. To crown it all, in 67 AD, the cult to the Olympian Zeus was instituted in the temple of Jerusalem. An altar to Zeus was erected and swine flesh was offered on it. Disobedience in any of the above carried a death penalty. To eat pork was forbidden by the Jewish law, so Eleazar refuses to eat it or even pretend to eat it, as suggested by his ‘friends’. He did so because he wished to set a good example to the youth, for he knew that after his death he would have to face the ultimate, inescapable judgement of God.
Often, many people who are advanced in age tend to feel that they are unable to contribute to society or to the family. Eleazer leads the way. A good example of faith can be just what a lot of young people need. Today, the Church celebrates the liturgical memorial of the Presentation of Mary. Although the event is not in the Bible, We learn from other sources that Mary’s parents Anne and Joachim, offered Mary to God in the Temple when she was only three years old. We celebrate this event because it helps us to understand Mary’s unique holiness, which was nurtured from the very beginning of her life.
Response: The Lord upholds me.
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