History Repeats Itself--The Coming Persecutions 

History Repeats Itself--The Coming Persecutions

1 Macc1:10-15, 41-43, 54-57, 62-63

[From the descendants of Alexander's officers]
there sprang a sinful offshoot, Antiochus Epiphanes,
son of King Antiochus, once a hostage at Rome.
He became king in the year one hundred and thirty-seven
of the kingdom of the Greeks.

In those days there appeared in Israel
men who were breakers of the law,
and they seduced many people, saying:
"Let us go and make an alliance with the Gentiles all around us;
since we separated from them, many evils have come upon us."
The proposal was agreeable;
some from among the people promptly went to the king,
and he authorized them to introduce the way of living
of the Gentiles.
Thereupon they built a gymnasium in Jerusalem
according to the Gentile custom.
They covered over the mark of their circumcision
and abandoned the holy covenant;
they allied themselves with the Gentiles
and sold themselves to wrongdoing.

Then the king wrote to his whole kingdom that all should be one people,
each abandoning his particular customs.
All the Gentiles conformed to the command of the king,
and many children of Israel were in favor of his religion;
they sacrificed to idols and profaned the sabbath.

On the fifteenth day of the month Chislev,
in the year one hundred and forty-five,
the king erected the horrible abomination
upon the altar of burnt offerings
and in the surrounding cities of Judah they built pagan altars.
They also burned incense at the doors of the houses and in the streets.
Any scrolls of the law which they found they tore up and burnt.
Whoever was found with a scroll of the covenant,
and whoever observed the law,
was condemned to death by royal decree.
But many in Israel were determined
and resolved in their hearts not to eat anything unclean;
they preferred to die rather than to be defiled with unclean food
or to profane the holy covenant; and they did die.
Terrible affliction was upon Israel.

Homily of the Day

Title: Stay Connected or You'll Lose Your Way
Author: Monsignor Dennis Clark, Ph.D.
Date: Monday, November 17, 2003

I Maccabees 1:10-15,41-43,54-57,62-63 / Lk 18:35-43

We have the beginnings of a great tragedy in today's reading from the book of Maccabees. The Greeks had decided to impose their own language and culture on the various parts of their empire. And that meant zero tolerance for the religion of all conquered peoples, including the Jews. The temple at Jerusalem was converted into a gymnasium, and all Jewish religious observances were forbidden under pain of death.

It was decision time for the Jews, young and old, and many of them forgot what it was that made them special, what made them who they were: It was their conscious connection to the Lord. Hoping to win acceptance and advancement from those who held power, many of the Jews turned their backs on their connection to the Lord. And in doing so they lost their identity and lost their way.

It'??s a temptation that presents itself in every age, if not in so dramatic a way. We face it now, the temptation to give in to a culture that in so many ways has considerable appeal, but is simultaneously seriously flawed. It's hard not to fall victim to its subtle allures and distorted values without even noticing we've done so. Only one thing can prevent that from happening, and that is serious time spent with the Lord every day.

Take that time every day. Let Him help you remember who you are and what really matters. Let Him give you the energy to be faithful and true.


We see the evidence of persecution against orthodox Christians and Jews now in this country through the mockery of the media and entertainment forces, the judiciary, in education and even in the legislatures (cf. Kennedy's and Hatch's proposed hate crimes bill modification). One would have to be deaf, dumb and blind to be unaware of the pervasive forces of secularist humanism raging around us.



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