2 Maccabees!

2 Maccabees 7:22-23

I do not know how you came into being in my womb. It was not I who gave you life and breath, nor I who set in order the elements within each of you. Therefore the Creator of the world, who shaped the beginning of man and devised the origin of all things, will in his mercy give life and breath back to you again, since you now forget yourselves for the sake of his laws.

These words were spoken by a mother, one of the greatest mothers in Israel's history, as she strengthen her seven sons and herself to stand up for the God of Israel and face death for his sake.  It is a fearful thing to lose a child.  To lost all your children and your own life–by torture–is virtually unimaginable.  Yet this is what some rare people have been willing to do, by the grace of God, rather than renounce their faith.  There's no explanation for this except the one the mother in today's reading gives:  "The Creator of the world… will in his mercy give life and breath back to you again."  Such faith!  And rewarded by Christ, the firstfruits of the Resurrection who was the first (but will by no means be the last) to receive life and breath back again three days after his own Mother saw him tortured to death for the faith to which she too held fast with courage.

Mark Shea


Mark P. Shea is a popular Catholic writer and speaker. The author of numerous books, his most recent work is The Work of Mercy (Servant) and The Heart of Catholic Prayer (Our Sunday Visitor). Mark contributes numerous articles to many magazines, including his popular column “Connecting the Dots” for the National Catholic Register. Mark is known nationally for his one minute “Words of Encouragement” on Catholic radio. He also maintains the Catholic and Enjoying It blog and regularly blogs for National Catholic Register. He lives in Washington state with his wife, Janet, and their four sons.

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