Read 2 Maccabees 6:18-31, Ps. 3:2-7, Luke 19:1-10
“Such pretense is not worthy of our time of life,” he said, “lest many of the young should suppose that Eleazar in his ninetieth year has gone over to an alien religion, and through my pretense, for the sake of living a brief moment longer, they should be led astray because of me, while I defile and disgrace my old age.” (2 Maccabees 6:24-25)
In our first reading this morning, we are presented with the story of Eleazer, a Jewish religious leader who was held in high esteem by the people. Given his position as a man who could influence the people, Eleazer was captured in the course of the persecution of King Antiochus Epiphanes. He was asked to either eat meat sacrificed to idols publicly or face the death sentence.
The men told him: “Sir you don’t have to eat the actual meat dedicated to the gods, just bring your own meat from your house and come and eat it in our presence.” They offered Eleazer an easy way out; a middle ground so to say. By eating his own meat in the public arena, he wouldn’t be offending God literally, yet at the same time, he would be misleading many who look up to him as a role model. Eleazer chose to die honourably than to live in pretence.
Dear friends, there is great danger in living in pretence. Revelation 3:14-17 reads: “And to the angel of the church in Laodicea write: I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm and neither cold nor hot, I will spew you out of my mouth.”
Are you like Zaccheus, on a treetop, trying to catch a glimpse of Jesus but you lack the courage to renounce your sinful ways? Jesus himself is now the one saying to you: “Come down for I must eat at your house today.” Allow Jesus in today and stop trying to please the world.
Let us pray: Lord Jesus, take my heart, my body, and my mind. Henceforth, it is for you alone that I live. Amen.
Be Happy. Live Positive. Have Faith. It is well with you. God bless you. (Tuesday of week 33 in Ordinary Time. Bible Study: 2 Maccabees 6:18-31, Ps. 3:2-7, Luke 19:1-10).