Macabees is a hard read. One son after another is killed for his faith, with their mother encouraging them on before she also refuses to deny her God. They all put their trust in God and believe that their lives are worth more than another day on earth. God will raise them up and that is enough for each one of them.
The resurrection is the tricky question in the Gospel too. The cunning riddle that the Saudduces who do not believe in such a thing is an attempt to discredit Jesus but his answer shows that with our human minds we cannot understand heavenly mysteries. Often we try to play games with Christ and then fail miserably. The Second Reading from 2 Thessalonians 2 guides us towards a better road: May the Lord direct your hearts to the love of God and to the steadfastness of Christ. If I but keep my eyes on the Trinity, then perhaps I will find a way to lay down my life for my faith too. If I come to the Lord, asking for only love and grace, and say this will suffice, I will be in good company. This was St. Ignatius’ prayer. If I know that if I come to the steadfastness of Christ and place all my worries in those wounded hands, I think I will be in good hands.
I have always said that whatever happens since my diagnosis is a win-win situation. Like the family in Macabees, I hope I will not curse my God for any suffering that may come. I pray that I may not renounce him and I cling to the hope that I will see my Saviour face to face when that day arrives. I pray that whatever happens will draw people to the Creator.
Would you renounce your faith if necessary to save your life?
How will you choose to direct your heart?
Take my heart, O God, and direct it to the path you wish me to take. Give me only your love and grace as that shall be sufficient. I will trust you and be faithful to you alone. Amen.