Reading and meditation on the Word of God, Wednesday of the 33rd week of ordinary time, November 20, 2019. 2 Maccabees 7, 1. 20-31; Luke 19, 11-28. Voice: Sr Ernestine fma (reading) and Sr Ana Maria spc (meditation)
The theme of our meditation today is: One Way to Defeat Terrorism. Within a WhatsApp group of young people, there is an interesting discussion about crimes and evils against members of the Church. There are bishops, priests and religious who are killed. There are lay people, families, young people or children who are persecuted, just because they are Christians and members of the Church.
In general, the discussion revealed feelings of fear, vigilance and anger at these crimes. But finally, the young people have an agreement that the crime basically happened to Jesus Christ with the suffering of His cross which was very shameful. Jesus himself promised His followers, all of us members of the Church, that the same evil and suffering we would face. In short, the Church that experiences martyrdom is part of our faith journey.
In many instances, the cruel treatment of martyrs and members of the Church everywhere today can be classified as terrorism. Today’s first reading of the second book of Maccabees describes the brutality of terrorism. King Antiochus Epifanes and his men killed seven Jewish brothers: skinning their heads, decapitating them, frying them one by one, while other boys and their mother were forced to watch. The mother was forced to persuade children who are still alive to renounce faith in God, or eliminate the sacred traditions of the ancestors.
But the fight back with spiritual terrorism from the strong faith in God and holy traditions turns out to be stronger. Children who were persuaded to abandon their true faith won in the power of God even though they were killed as martyrs. Finally, the mother was also martyred. The faith of the family is so strong that can defeat terrorists. Until now, the only way that the Church uses to fight terrorism is to remain in true faith even to the point of death.
The experience of martyrdom above is enough for us to increase our faith and develop our spiritual life. We are proud and happy as members of the Church who have been raised and strengthened by the blood of martyrs. We might not experience as cruel treatment as they are. But our big challenge is to maintain in this faith. We need to justify our faith properly and have its fruitful impact. The servants who multiply talents given to them can be an example for us to be responsible in our faith. By taking responsibility for our faith on earth, we will easily account for it in the hereafter.
Let’s pray. In the name of the Father … A generous Father, strengthen us to be able to resist fear, discouragement and escape, but through the power of the Holy Spirit may we become your children who are remain responsible to your will. Our Father … In the name of the Father …