Tuesday in the Octave of the Assumption
1 Maccabees, Chapter 4, Verse 8
Judas said to the men with him: Do not FEAR their numbers or dread their attack.
Why fear you? As God saved you from Egypt at the red sea surely, he will defend us was Judas’ cry. Thus, Israel experienced a great deliverance that day. Then again being attacked by a force ten times as large, Judas cried out, “Blessed are you, Savior of Israel, who crushed the attack of the mighty one by the hand of your servant David and delivered the foreign camp into the hand of Jonathan, the son of Saul, and his armor-bearer. When Lysias saw the tide of the battle turning, and the increased boldness of Judas, whose men were ready either to live or to die nobly, he withdrew. Then Judas and his brothers said, “Now that our enemies have been crushed, let us go up to purify the sanctuary and rededicate it.” So, the whole army assembled, and went up to Mount Zion. They found the sanctuary desolate, the altar desecrated, the gates burnt, weeds growing in the courts as in a thicket or on some mountain, and the priests’ chambers demolished. Then they tore their garments and made great lamentation; they sprinkled their heads with ashes and prostrated themselves. And when the signal was given with trumpets, they cried out to Heaven. They repaired the sanctuary. On the anniversary of the day on which the Gentiles had desecrated it, on that very day it was rededicated with songs, harps, lyres, and cymbals. All the people prostrated themselves and adored and praised Heaven, who had given them success. For eight days they celebrated the dedication of the altar and joyfully offered burnt offerings and sacrifices of deliverance and praise. Then Judas and his brothers and the entire assembly of Israel decreed that every year for eight days, from the twenty-fifth day of the month Kislev, the days of the dedication of the altar should be observed with joy and gladness on the anniversary. This was the institution of the feast of Hanukkah, also called the Feast of Dedication. Josephus calls it the Feast of Lights (Ant. 12:325).
Let There Be Light!
According to Jewish Talmudic tradition, when the Maccabees recaptured the Temple, they found only a day’s supply of consecrated oil with which to light the golden lamp stand, the menorah. Miraculously, this oil burned for eight full days, until a new supply could be consecrated. Therefore, Hanukkah is also known and celebrated as the Feast of Lights. This Hanukkah, ask the Holy Spirit to pour fresh oil into your lamp.
When enduring a dark season, be encouraged, for God says, “Let there be light.” At the appointed hour you will see His deliverance. When you faithfully worship the one true God, do not be dismayed if anti-Christ powers are enraged. These powers operate only within divinely set limits. God is teaching us how to receive by faith, day-by-day, the anointing to not love our own lives so as to shrink from death (Revelation 12:11).
Israel’s dark tribulation culminating with the Hanukkah victory in many ways parallels the future Great Tribulation leading to Yeshua’s return. The holiday commemorating the rededication of God’s Temple calls upon us to rededicate ourselves to Him as the bodily temples in which His Spirit now dwells. (See 1Corinthians 6:19)
Tuesday: Litany of St. Michael the Archangel