We’re treated to some intense passages from 2 Maccabees at Mass this week. Yesterday we heard: “Eleazar, one of the foremost scribes, a man of advanced age and noble appearance, was being forced to open his mouth to eat port. But preferring a glorious death to a life of defilement, he spat out the meat, and went forward of his own accord to the instrument of torture, as people ought to do . . .”
And today we hear about the mother and seven sons who were arrested and tortured in an attempt to get them to eat pork in violation of God’s law.
Today God through His Church asks the faithful to abstain from meat or to make another sacrifice of their choosing on Fridays. How many people take this precept seriously? The kingdom of God isn’t about eating and drinking, but it is about fidelity to what the Lord asks of us. I think our generation needs more Eleazars and fewer “comfortable” Christians.
For more information on the Church’s precepts concerning fast and abstinence, click here.