Mephistopheles Always

1 Maccabees 2:15-29 / Lk 19:41-44

The Maccabees’ saga continues in today’s reading with Mattathias and his family being offered the ultimate deal with the devil: A small sacrifice to the pagan gods in exchange for vast riches and the title, ‘King’s Friends.’ It seems so little to give for so much, but Mattathias knew that wasn’t true. It was his faith, his connection to the Lord, that gave him life and made him who he was, and without that he knew he was nothing. So he rejected the deal, abandoned all his possessions, and fled with his family into the mountains.

Eventually, moments like that come to us all, though not usually with the glamorous offers that came Mattathias’ way. But the essence is there: give up ‘A’ to get ‘B’.  Real wisdom consists in assessing correctly what we’re thinking of giving up. Is it of the essence of who we are and who we’re called to be? Does giving it up erode or conflict with a commitment we’ve already made?

In those dangerous compromise moments, desire can cloud our minds and whisper lies to us. More than ever, those are the times when we need to lay open our hearts to the Lord. If we take the time, He will show us the truth, and He will help us choose the truth.

May we become faithful as He is faithful.

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