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Saturday, July 22, 2017

FEAST OF THE HOLY PENITENT MARY MAGDALEN

2 Maccabees, Chapter 3, Verse 29-30
29 As Heliodorus lay speechless because of God’s action and deprived of any hope of recovery, 30 the people praised the Lord who had marvelously glorified his own place; and the temple, charged so shortly before with fear and commotion, was filled with joy and gladness, now that the almighty Lord had appeared.

As Mr. H approaches the temple both he and his associates encounter the living God where upon he and his associates are thrown into panic and fainting. Then a rider on the magnificent horse charges H and his two companions, who fall to the ground unconscious. Mr. H is then unceremoniously carried away on a stretcher, utterly helpless. The people praise God who has protected the temple. H fearful of his death, have his supporters ask the high priest to pray for him which the High priest does and Mr. H now proclaims God’s power and majesty and the story continues with:

·         Simon Maccabee opposes the high priest Onias.
·         Onias is disposed as high priest by his brother Jason who bribes the king and is part of the Hellenistic party.
·         Jason doesn’t pay his bribe in a timely manner and is supplanted by Menelaus who offers more but not paying as promised then is on the run.
·         The king marches with is army to squash a cities that are not with the program and leaves his trusted henchman Andronicus in charge who promptly murders the ex-high priest Onias.
·         Menelaus plunders the temple of its golden vessels and boom back on top; bribes away.
·         Jason the bad man with no money dies in exile. Do we see a pattern here?
·         Antiochus IV then attacks the Jews and profanes the temple.
·         Antiochus IV then proscribes Jewish practices and persecutes the religious.

Eleazar the Martyr[1]

Eleazar was a Jewish man whose story is portrayed in 2 Maccabees 6. Verse 18 describes him as "one of the leading teachers of the law," and "of distinguished bearing." We learn from verse 24 that he was ninety at the time of his death. Under a persecution instigated by Antiochus IV Epiphanes, Eleazar was forced to open his mouth and eat pork, but he spat it out and submitted to flogging. He was then privately permitted to eat meat that he could pretend was pork, but he refused and was flogged to death. The narrator relates that in his death he left "a heroic example and a glorious memory," (verse 31). Along with the woman with seven sons depicted in the following chapter, Eleazar, although not actually a Maccabee, is celebrated as one of the "Holy Maccabean Martyrs" by the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches. Their feast day is August 1.

Feast of the Holy Penitent Mary Magdalen[2]



MARY MAGDALEN, a sister of Lazarus and of Martha, of Bethany, was a notorious sinner in Jerusalem. Moved by the preaching of Jesus, she did public penance. She went openly into the house of the Pharisee with whom Jesus was sitting at table, threw herself at His feet, anointed them with precious ointment, washed them with her tears, and wiped them with her hair. Jesus, knowing her contrite heart, forgave her, her sins (Luke vii. 37, 38), and from that time forward she became the most zealous and faithful of the women who were disciples of Our Lord. She followed Him, always ministered unto Him of her substance (Luke viii. 3), and when He died was standing under the cross.

Magdalen, who had sinned openly, openly did penance. In like manner, he who has given public scandal must seek to make amends for it by public good example. Magdalen confessed her sins, says St. Ambrose, not with words, but with abundant tears of penitence. To tell her sins to Christ, the All-knowing, was not necessary but what a confession was there in the posture of humiliation, and in the tears that flowed from the contrite sinner. Would you obtain forgiveness? Confess with contrition, like Magdalen. The words, “Thy faith hath made thee safe,” denote a faith active as love. Faith and love are in truth never separated, for the only truly believes who also loves; and he only loves according to God’s will who believes in Him. Therefore believe in truth, love, and show your love by earnest hatred of every sin, by flying from occasions of sin, by fighting against your passions, by change of your life, and by humble confession, and as true as God lives you will be saved, as was Magdalen the peace of God will enter into your heart.

Daily Devotions/Prayers
·         Drops of Christ’s Blood
·         Novena of St. Ann-Day 6




[2] Goffine’s Devout Instructions, 1896.

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