2 Mac 7:1, 20-31 / Lk 19:11-28
Fear is one of the greatest adversaries that any of us will ever face. It steals our peace and our joy, it closes down many roads, and throws up many walls. Some form of fear is at the root of every sin, and some kind of fear is behind every failure to live up to our best selves. Fear pretends to be a protector of life, but in fact it is a friend only of death. Jesus said it best, “Fear is useless. What is needed is trust.”
Nothing less than monumental trust can explain the confident courage of the mother of the Maccabees in today’s Old Testament reading. As she watched each of her seven sons being carried off to a martyr’s death, she was a tower of strength for them, and like the good mother she was, she explained to each of them why they had no reason to fear anything, not even death. “The Creator of the universe who shapes every man’s beginning, as He brings about the origin of everything, will in His mercy bring you back both breath and life…” They heard her words, they trusted in their Creator’s love, and they went to their death in peace.
Many things ever so much smaller than death frighten us and rob us of too many of our days. The time for that to stop forever is now. We need only trust in the love of the Creator who made us, and we will be free. Troubles will inevitably come, sometimes great ones. They may even kill us, but if we are connected to Him, they will never destroy us. That is God’s promise!