It took a year to read the Bible, then almost 9 months to read the Apocrypha. Now, I'm going to try to offer reflections on the Narrative Lectionary. But, I won't be posting daily--at least, for a while.

Monday, July 13, 2015

King or Temple, a reflection on 2 Maccabeus 3:1-21

History: Jerusalem was at peace. The laws were observed because of the piety of the high priest Onias. Then a man named Simon, of the tribe of Benjamin, who had been made captain of the temple, got into a disagreement with Onias over the management of the city market.  Simon reported to Apollonius, the governor, that the temple funds included some tax receipts that should have been designated for the king.

The king sent Heliodorus to investigate. Onias asserted that Simon had misrepresented the facts since the money being held at the temple was a collection for widows and orphans and a deposit made by a certain rich man. He added that it was utterly impossible that wrong should be done to those people who trusted in the holiness, sanctity, and inviolability of the temple that is honored throughout the world.

Heliodorus was not convinced. He ordered that the money be confiscated for the king's treasury. Distress ran through the whole city,  prostration of priests calling to heaven for protection, crowds of resentful, anguished people formed.

How can any society insure protection of people who need it?

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