November 6, 2022: Thirty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time: Associate Pastor's Corner
Most admirable and worthy of everlasting remembrance was the mother who, seeing her seven sons perish in a single day, bore it courageously because of her hope in the Lord. Filled with a noble spirit that stirred her womanly reason with manly emotion, she exhorted each of them in the language of their ancestors” –2 Mc 7:20-21
The first reading today from the 2nd book of Maccabees regrettably leaves out the most important parts! Not only does it leave out the gruesome details of how the seven brothers are tortured to death, but it also leaves out the part that is “most admirable and worthy of everlasting remembrance”: the exhortations of their mother.
I don’t have the space here to quote the whole passage, so do yourself a favor right now and go read 2 Maccabees, Chapter 7. Here’s a link: https://bible.usccb.org/bible/2maccabees/7. I’ll wait…
Wow! What a powerful witness to our hope of eternal life! What greater motherly love can there be than to say to your youngest son: “Do not be afraid of this executioner, but be worthy of your brothers and accept death, so that in the time of mercy I may receive you again with your brothers.”
But it is with heavy heart that we remember that the dismemberment and deadly tortures of the evil king are also taking place today. Retreating Russian troops have left behind torture chambers and the bodies of their victims. And even in our own land, thousands of babies are killed by dilation and extraction abortions every year. It is far too easy to ignore evil when it is far away from us in a distant country or hidden behind clinic walls.
Unlike the mother with seven sons, we have a choice: we can either courageously stand up against evil, even at great personal risk, or ignore it. So what are we to do?
First, Love your enemies and pray for those that persecute you, do not continue the cycle of violence. Pray for peace.
Second, Reach out a helping hand. So much of the evil in our world occurs when people don’t think they have a choice. Consider how you can help Project Gabriel and our other outreach programs.
Finally, Like the mother in Maccabees, witness your hope in eternal life to those around you.
- Fr. Christopher Wetzel