Thursday, November 19, 2015
FRIDAY, 33rd Week in Ordinary Time
November 20, 2015 FRIDAY, 33rd Week in Ordinary Time
1 Mac 4:3–37, 52–59 / Lk 19:45-48
Reading: 1 Mac 4: 3–37, 52–59
But Judas learned of this, so he went out with his men to attack the king's army in Emmaus while the enemy troops were still dispersed outside the camp. Gorgias arrived at the camp of the Jews by night but found no one there. He then began to search for them in the mountains, for he thought: "They are running away from us."
But at daybreak, Judas appeared in the plain with three thousand men who had not the armor or swords they would have liked. They saw the camp of the pagans with its strong fortifications and the calvary surrounding it – all trained men in war. Judas said to his men: "Do not fear the number of the enemy or be afraid of their attack. Remember how our ancestors were saved at the Red Sea when Pharaoh's army pursued them. Cry out to God, for if he so wishes he will remember his Covenant and destroy that army before us this very day. And all the nations will know that Someone saves and liberates Israel."
The pagans looked up and saw the Jews coming down against them, so they came out of their camp to face them in battle. Judas had the trumpets sounded and his men attacked. The pagans were defeated and fled to the plain, but all the rear guard fell by the sword. They pursued them to Gazara, to the plains of Idumea, of Azot and Jamnia and killed about three thousand of the enemy.
Judas and his army stopped chasing them, he said to the men with him: "Do not think of the booty now, for another battle awaits us. Gorgias with his army is in the hills close by. Remain ready to fight them, and afterwards you can gather the plunder with nothing to worry about." He had barely finished speaking when an army detachment appeared on the hillside. These men saw that their own troops had fled and their camp had been destroyed, for the smoke that rose up from the camp was enough to tell them this. So they were terrified. And when they saw the army of Judas drawn up on the plain ready for battle, they fled to the land of the Philistines.
So Judas and his men returned to plunder the camp. They carried off valuable booty. And on their return, they sang and praised heaven: For he is good, and his mercy is eternal.
That day was a great victory for Israel. The pagans who had escaped went to Lysias and told him what had happened. When he heard this, he was dismayed and depressed because things in Israel had not gone as expected, and he had not carried out the king's command.
The following year, he organized an army of sixty thousand men and five thousand cavalry to confront the Jews. They advanced into Idumea and encamped at Bethzur. Judas came out with ten thousand men to meet them in battle. When he saw their military strength, he prayed, "Blessed are you, Savior of Israel, who broke the warrior's strength by the hand of your servant David, and handed over the camp of the Philistines to the power of Jonathan, son of Saul, and to his armor-bearer.
In the same way, give this army into the hands of your people Israel, and let the confidence they place in their power and in their horses be destroyed. Fill them with fear; shatter their confidence in their own strength. May they be defeated and recover no more. Deliver them to the sword of your faithful people so that all who know you may praise your name."
Both sides attacked, and five thousand men from the army of Lysias fell dead. Lysias saw that his army was disheartened, while Judas and his men grew bolder and were ready to live or to die nobly. So he retreated to Antioch, where he recruited mercenaries to strengthen his army, for he planned to return to Judea.
Then Judas and his brothers said: "Our enemies are defeated, so let us go up and purify the Holy Place and consecrate it again." And all the army assembled and went up to Mount Zion.
On the twenty-fifth day of the month of Chislev, in the year one hundred and forty-eight (164 B.C.) they arose at dawn and offered the sacrifice prescribed by the Law on the new altar of holocausts which they had built. It was precisely at that same time and date that the pagans had profaned it before; but now they consecrated it with songs accompanied by zithers, harps and cymbals. All the people fell prostrate and blessed Heaven that had given them happiness and success.
They celebrated the consecration of the altar for eight days, joyfully offering holocausts and celebrating sacrifices of thanksgiving and praise. The front of the temple was adorned with crowns of gold and shields; the gates and the rooms had been restored and fitted with doors.
There was no end to the celebration among the people, and so the profanation of the temple by the pagans was forgotten. Finally, Judas, his brothers and the whole assembly of Israel agreed to celebrate the anniversary of the consecration of the altar annually for eight days, from the twenty-fifth of the month of Chislev, in high festivity.
Gospel: Lk 19:45-48
Then Jesus entered the Temple area and began to drive out the merchants. And he said to them, "God says in the Scriptures: My house shall be a house of prayer: but you have turned it into a den of robbers."
Jesus was teaching every day in the Temple. The chief priests and teachers of the Law wanted to kill him and the elders of the Jews as well, but they were unable to do anything, for all the people were listening to him and hanging on his words.
In the first reading, Judas Maccabeus, after defeating the enemies of Israel, finds the Temple of Jerusalem in total ruin. So he orders his men to rebuild the temple and replaces all the sacred vessels, lampstand, altar, and other furnishings. After doing so, they joyfully re-dedicate the temple: "they consecrated it with songs accompanied by zithers, harps and cymbals. All the people fell prostrate and blessed Heaven that had given them happiness and success" (1 Mac 4: 54b – 55)
The Gospel reading is about Jesus cleansing the Temple area, "Then Jesus entered the Temple area and began to drive out the merchants. And he said to them, 'God says in the Scriptures: My house shall be a house of prayer: but you have turned it into a den of robbers.' "
The cleansing of the Temple area occurs late in the ministry of Jesus he Gospel of Luke, after the triumphant entry into Jerusalem. In the Gospel of John the cleansing of the Temple is given early in his public ministry, after the miracle at the wedding feast in Cana. In John's account, Jesus also predicts his death and resurrection: "'Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up'. . . . Jesus was referring to the temple of his body. Only when he had risen from the dead did his disciples remember these words." (Jn 3:19–22a)
Both readings speak of respect for the temple as the house of God and the sign of God's presence to his people. The temple of Jerusalem also housed the Tablets of the Law, the sign of God's Covenant with Israel.
We value God's presence to us in our churches and places of worship. We value God's presence in us by his grace whereby we become temples of the Holy Spirit.
We especially thank God for his loving presence an memorial in all our churches in the Blessed Sacrament, the wonderful reminder and guarantee of our redemption, "When we eat this Bread and drink this Cup, we proclaim your Death, O Lord, until you come again."
We thank God for his presence in the least of our brethren, "Whenever you did this to these little ones who are my brothers and sisters, you did it to me." (Mt 25: 40)
WE PRAY FOR MTQ DAILY PRAYER DIARY INTENTIONS:
IVY MARIEL C. DE RAMOS
RODELIA A. TAN
SHIRLEY D. GARCIA
IN MEMORIAM (+)
CHARLES KANG LIM (OCT 17, 1960 – NOV 20, 1997)
Finally, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our prayers and for those who need our prayers the most.
Have a good day!
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