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.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Bitter and yet not bitter, a reflection on 4 Maccabees 18

The author addresses the Israelite children directly:

Obey the law. Exercise piety in everything. Remember the example of the family that sacrificed themselves for religion, and when the tyrant saw that he wasn't able to compel the Israelites to become pagans, he left Jerusalem.

The mother spoke to her sons, reminded them of her virtue and the examples from scripture that her husband had recounted to their sons.

The author describes the day that her sons were sacrificed as bitter--and yet not bitter: For these crimes divine justice pursued and will pursue the accursed tyrant, but the sons and their victorious mother have received immortal souls from God.

Does it make a difference if we read these words as being written to people suffering from a foreign tyrant? Do they help readers who are living in peace and in charge?

No comments: