All week long we've been reading about heroes of the faith in Maccabees. Today we read about Mattathias. In our Gospel reading from Luke 19, Jesus weeps over Jerusalem and laments because, "...you did not recognize the time of your visitation."
Mattathias and his sons were told that if they just went along with the king's demands to sacrifice to idols, they would be made rich and become Friends of the king. Mattathias responds, "We will not obey the words of the king nor depart from our religion in the slightest degree." He then killed a man profaning the altar and the king's messenger who was forcing them to sacrifice. He leads his sons and others out into the desert to live according to the covenant.
This is yet another instance where some will look at these men as fools and/or criminals. But they chose to obey God rather than men. I find great honor in that. I only hope that I can be that kind of man, and that more men will will find the courage and zeal of Mattathias in our day and age.
Father, raise up courageous and zealous men today; men who will defend the faith regardless of the cost. Amen.
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