Friday, October 29, 2010

October 29, 2010 – 1 Maccabees 2:39 - 2:70

Here we see a description of Abraham and a list of other great heroes of the Old Testament.  It was reckoned to him as righteousness.  We should see this referenced in tomorrow’s readings. 

If you read the verses directly before you will see that they are telling the story of a group of Israelites that were camped and obeying the Sabbath and were attacked.  They did not defend themselves because they did not want to do any work on the Sabbath.  Here we see the same idea that the Pharisees have when they challenge Jesus about curing people on the Sabbath.  Here we see Mattathias saying that keeping Holy the Sabbath does not mean to lay there and be slaughtered.  Keeping the Sabbath Holy means to devote that day to the Lord, not to just do nothing.  I remember sometimes thinking that I would be keeping the Sabbath “rest” by watching TV all day or not doing my homework because that would be doing “work”.  There is a difference between a day of rest and a day of being lazy.  We will find any excuse to not do things, but keeping the Sabbath Holy is not a reason to do nothing. 

I there is the saying the idle hands are the devils playground.  We can a line that with Mattathias attitude.  If we take the Sabbath a day to just lay there, we are vulnerable to attack by evil things, much like those Israelites.  Mattathias is saying that the Sabbath is not a time to just lay there and be conquered, but a time to make the Lord known and give ourselves wholly to Him.  For Mattathias, that meant to defend his people militarily.  What does it mean for us.  Does it mean to spend more time in prayer, help more around the house, be nicer to those in our household, be more prepared for Mass, or something else.  It does not mean to sit on the couch all day and not do “work”.  Be careful that we do not twist the Sabbath in order to excuse our laziness. 

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