today's readings are 1 Maccabees 1: 10-15, 41-43, 54-57, 62-64; Psalm 119 and Lk. 18: 35-43
Starting today, and for this week and next, our 1st reading will be taken from the 1st and 2nd books of Maccabees.
These 2 books are considered part of the historical books of the Old Testament, and describe the stories of the Jewish rebellion led by Judas Maccabee, the third son of a Jewish priest Mattathias, against the Seleucid kings who ruled the Holy Land in the first half of the 2nd century, BC.
Under the Seleucids, a repression of the Jewish faith took place, and while some Jews gave in to the demands of the Seleucids, many others did not.
In the next 2 weeks we will hear stories of heroism, battles, and testimonies of faith in the midst of great persecution. These stories show the importance of fidelity to faith, and its traditions and laws. Only true freedom and peace will be found in such fidelity. Which, of course, applies as much today as it did back then.