Reflecting on 2Mc. 7:1-2, 9-14
We don’t pay attention to it, probably, because that gruesome story of the murder of the seven Maccabees and their steadfast mother takes our breath away, but there’s a great theological leap at the end of that passage. The fourth brother says he is dying, “with the hope God gives of being raised up by him.”
WAIT, WHAT? A Hebrew man, one hundred and seventy years before Christ, expressing belief in the resurrection? It was not in his tradition, but somehow he knew. God, says Ecclesiastes 3:11, has given us wisdom for the day, yet has set eternity in our hearts.
We’re marching forward to Advent, each week’s readings taking us closer to what the ancients thought the end of the world might look like. That’s why we start all over again every Advent, because no one yet, even Jesus, has let the world know exactly what happens to us after our last breath. So we keep repeating the Story, waiting in joyful hope for the day when we see Jesus face to face, a day when, apparently, no words will ever be enough.
But still, Advent carols looming on the horizon, I’m thinking about last year’s Easter Vigil. That dark church, that flickering fire, that Easter Candle, and then, one by one, the candles of every believer in the church lighting up. And here’s what we heard, although no one said a word: Pass this on, what was passed on to you, and what will be passed on until the end of time: Christ is risen. And he is taking you with him. ALLELUA.
So pass it on. The world has changed. You may be the only person to tell someone about the resurrection. ALLELUIA.
In what ways do you sense that eternity is set in your heart?
Kathy McGovern ©2022