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 1 – Noah, Abraham, Moses, Judges, Kings, Prophets… all of these peoples, chosen by God, were preparing the coming of the Messiah.

- But the answer of the humans, was like a swing, ups and downs,  a  wavering with God and against God.

- God made man simple but, they get lost in their many thoughts.Eccl.7,29.

2 – For  many peoples, in the past and today,  the real God is money. So, many Israelites, dedicated themselves to trading and left their country to settle in all the urban centers, around the Mediterranean.

3 – About  333 B.C. Alexander died,  opening the way for the spread of  Greek culture with his open spirit which surpassed national individualism.

- But, when the Antiochians of Syria, defeated  the Egyptians, in 197 B.C.

     they began to impose, their pagan religion to the Jews.

4Five Maccabean brothers, refused the new rulers so, began a fierce war  and persecution, from the year 170 to 130 B.C.  

- Maccabees = hammer , for whom faith is more valuable than even life itself.

- The Jewish people, found themselves alone against Greek and Roman  oppressors so, once again, they asked God’s help.

5 – The  holy wars,(?) do not solve all the problems, in fact  Maccabees’ descendants,  soon became materialistic and were despised  or  opposed by true believers.

- Jesus said : If you wish to be a follower of mine, deny yourself and  take up your cross, each day and, follow me. Lk.9,23.

- Peter said : The end of all things is near.  Keep your minds calm  and sober for prayer. Love one another.  

- Do not be surprised at the testing by the fire.

- You should be glad, to share in the sufferings of Christ.

- I suppose that, none of you, should suffer for being a murderer, a thief, a criminal or an informer. We suffer because of our sins. 2Mc.7,18.

- The time of judgment has come, with God’s household. 1Pt.4,7-19.

6 – Maccabees’ books, is acknowledged as one of the most perfect books of  ancient  history…  But once again, we have to repeat that  the intentions of the authors, is not to give us precise political  or geographical information but, RELIGIOUS  TEACHINGS.

7 – The  two books, were written about 200-135 years B.C. letting us to know  the cruelty of rulers of that time and, the faith of people like  Eleazar and, the seven Maccabees’ brothers.  2Mac.6,18-31 ; 7,1-40.

- In the second book, there are very important teachings about

     * God, Resurrection and Eternal Life.  2Mc.6,26 ; 7, ; 14,46.

     * Communion of Saints. Prayers for the dead.  2Mc.12,43-45 ; 15,14.

     * Personal responsibility of good or bad persons. 2Mc.7,18-19   

- These two books  and, some others, are called  deuterocanonical  because  for the Catholic Church they are inspired but, not for the Hebrews.

8 – It happened also that, seven brothers were arrested with their mother.

- The king, had them scourged and flogged to force them to eat  the flesh of a pig, which was prohibited by the Law.  2Mc.7,1.

- Everything created by God, was good and he gave us as a food. Gen.1,29-31

- Jesus said : What enters into the mouth, it means any kind of food, does not make a person unclean. What defiles one, is what comes out  of his mouth and makes him unclean.

- It is from the heart, that evil desires come : Murder, adultery, immorality, theft, lies, slander.  Mt.15,10-20.

9 –Each of brothers, before they died, will teach something important.

* The first brother said : We are prepared to die, right now, rather than  break the law of our ancestors. 2Mc.7,2.

- The other brothers and their mother encouraged one another to die bravely w5

* The second brother said : Murderer, you dismiss us from life, but  the king of the world will raise us up. He will give us eternal life. 7,9

* The third one said : I have received these limbs from God and  I hope to recover them from God. 7,11

* The forth said : I would die, at the hands of mortals but, God will raise us up  but you murderer, shall have no part in the resurrection of life. 2Mc.7,14

* The fifth said : You oppressors have authority over people but, do not think that our race has been abandoned by God.

        God, will torment you and your descendants.  2Mc.7,16-17

* The sixth said : We suffer all this because of our sins,  but do not think that  you are going to remain unpunished. 2Mc.7,18-20.

10 – The  mother saw her sons die, in a single day but, she encouraged each one of them, saying : It was not I who gave you breath and life.

     The Creator, will give you back  breath and life.  2Mc.7.20-23.

-The king Antiochus, through the mother, tried to convince the youngest boy  promising to make him rich and happy. Col.1,23-24.

- St. Paul exhorts us to stand firm upon the foundation of faith and to accept  sufferings in order  to complete what is lacking in the sufferings of Christ.

-The mother said : Son, do not fear these executioners. Accept death  that you may again meet your brothers. 2Mc.7,24-30.

* The young man said : I do not obey the king’s order.

     And you, who have devised such tortures against the Hebrews  shall not escape the hands of God.

- After all her sons, the mother, also died. 2Mc.7,41.

- St.Paul to Timothy said : Be sure that, there will be difficult times

     in the last days. The people will become selfish, lovers of money, disobedient, cruel, traitors.

    Keep away from such people. 2Tm.3,1-16.

11 – This is enough, to make known, the tortures beyond all imagination

 - The king ordered that the pans be heated… The tongue be cut out.

        The head scalped…  Hands and feet cut off…

        And, after that, to roast, all the brothers, alive. 2Mc7,3-5.    

   - In the very simple way, in the Maccabees’ books, we find important

      teachings about :  Death, that will happen to any good and bad person.

      Resurrection of the body… The last judgment… Eternal life...

      Personal responsibility for good or bad deeds that we have done.

12 – We must be the light of the world. Mt.5,13-19.

- Our body and spirit are together, from the conception to eternity.

- When we do good and wrong, we do with our mind, freedom, spirit  and body. So, body and spirit,  must be together, also in receiving  eternal reward or punishment. Rv.3,14-22 ; 21,8.;22,14-15.

- Immediately  ( God does not have watch and calendar… The last day  ? )

     after our death, our bodies will be transformed into imperishable  spiritual, heavenly, celestial bodies and will present himself to God  for judgment and, after that, to start an happy life with God =Paradise   or, unhappy eternal life in Hell,  according our deeds.

      So, no possibility of apocatastasi or reincarnation. Ccc.1013.

         1Tess.4,13-18  ; 1Cor.15,12-58.

13It is heartbreaking to see so much holiness in a lay person (Maccabees)

       and so much imperfection in a priest.  St.G.B. Febr.6

- God can change even badly made things into good ones.  St.G.B. Feb. 7

- God will hear us and make us stronger than all our enemies, all our tribulations, and all our persecutions.   St. G. B. Feb. 8

- Those who wish to live piously in Christ will suffer persecutions.

     St.G.B. Dec.12.


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