Fr. Mike contextualizes our readings from 1 Maccabees today which covers the beginning of Roman rule over the Jewish people. Additionally, he emphasizes the wisdom from Sirach about surrounding ourselves with influences that lead us closer to God and help us grow in holiness. Today’s readings are 1 Maccabees 8, Sirach 22-23, and Proverbs 22:26-29.
Fr. Mike guides us through Judas Maccabeus’ last battle, his death, and his succession. We learn that part of Judas and Jonathan’s victory involved fighting fellow Jews living in the land who were not living according to God’s laws. Fr. Mike points out that when the enemy is in the inside, it is especially heartbreaking. Today’s readings are 1 Maccabees 9, Sirach 24-25, and Proverbs 23:1-4.
Fr. Mike breaks down the dramatic events from our reading of 1 Maccabees today, including; Jonathan’s new role as high priest, Demetrius’ defeat in battle, and King Alexander Epiphanes formidable alliance with Egypt formed by marrying Cleopatra. In Sirach, Fr. Mike reminds us that the good qualities wives are called to possess are also applicable to husbands. Today we read 1 Maccabees 10, Sirach 26-27, and Proverbs 23:5-8.
As we continue our journey in 1 Maccabees, Fr. Mike explains that this book of the Bible is unlike others because it narrates stories and events without providing any interpretation. In Sirach, Fr. Mike stresses the teaching on the power of our words and the gravity of gossip and slander. Today’s readings are 1 Maccabees 11, Sirach 28-29, and Proverbs 23:9-12.
Fr. Mike focuses on the theme of disciplining children, reflected in our readings from Sirach and Proverbs today. He clarifies that there is a crucial difference between discipline and destruction, and emphasizes that disciplining children should always be grounded in love and oriented towards their success in the future. Today’s readings 1 Maccabees 12, Sirach 30-31, and Proverbs 23:13-16.
In our reading of 1 Maccabees today, Fr. Mike highlights the the establishment of the new independent sovereign nation of Israel in the land of Judah. We learn how Simon takes command and enforces the law all around the land. Fr. Mike reminds us that even today, Christians are governed by Jesus himself and ultimately to belong to him. Today’s readings are 1 Maccabees 13, Sirach 32-33, and Proverbs 23:17-21.
Fr. Mike mirrors the story of 1 Maccabees and Israel’s expectations of continued success onto our own lives, emphasizing that God’s marvelous plan exceeds our expectations and what we think should happen next in our lives. He invites us to worship and give to the Lord with freedom and generosity in response to God’s sacrificial love for us. Today’s readings are 1 Maccabees 14, Sirach 34-35, and Proverbs 23:22-25.
As we begin to wrap up 1 Maccabees, Fr. Mike directs our attention to how 2 Maccabees will tell the same story in a different way. In Sirach, we are encouraged to know our own hearts, so that we can know our strengths, weaknesses, and where we might need healing. The readings are 1 Maccabees 15, Sirach 36-37, and Proverbs 23:26-28.
As we read from Proverbs and Sirach, Fr. Mike point out how everything God has made is good, but we can use those things for evil ends. We also get to the conclusion of 1 Maccabees. The readings are 1 Maccabees 16, Sirach 38-39, and Proverbs 23:29-35.
Fr. Mike gives us context for the beginning of 2 Maccabees and recounts the story of Nehemiah’s discovery of the sacred fire. He also offers a reflection for those struggling with grief and death, which serves as a reminder to all about the blessing of our lives and the lives of those we love. Today’s readings are 2 Maccabees 1, Sirach 40-41, and Proverbs 24:1-7.