die and let live
“I will leave to the young a noble example of how to die willingly and generously for the revered and holy laws.” —2 Maccabees 6:28
Jesus said: “Whoever loses his life for My sake will save it” (Lk 9:24). “Unless the grain of wheat falls to the earth and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat. But if it dies, it produces much fruit” (Jn 12:24). In today’s first reading, Eleazar gave a fabulous example to young people of how to live and die for the Lord (2 Mc 6:31). In the very next chapter of 2 Maccabees, seven young men were brutally tortured and martyred for their faith in God. Quite possibly these young men had heard the story of Eleazar’s faithfulness and courage under pressure and were inspired by his example. These martyrs bore great fruit, as their shed blood was the seed that led to the renewal of the faith of Israel in the times of the Maccabees.
“None of us lives as his own master and none of us dies as his own master. While we live we are responsible to the Lord, and when we die we die as His servants. Both in life and death we are the Lord’s” (Rm 14:7-8). When we die as a member of the Body of Christ, our dying can bring the life of Jesus to the world (see 2 Cor 4:11-12). We pray frequently that the Blessed Virgin Mary would pray for us “now and at the hour of our death.” It might be that you may lead many more people to the Lord Jesus by the courageous, trusting manner of your death than by your holy and faithful life. Be an Eleazar. May your life and death be “a noble example” to all who hear of you (2 Mc 6:28).
Prayer: Father, “to me, ‘life’ means Christ; hence, dying is so much gain” (Phil 1:21). I give You my present and my future.
Promise: “The Son of Man has come to search out and save what was lost.” —Lk 19:10
Praise: Sts. Anne and Joachim expressed their faith by presenting their daughter, Mary, Our Lady of Presentation, to the Temple priests at age three to serve God.
Reference: (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)
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