How much do you believe in the resurrection?
The Holy Seven Maccabees, Solomonia, and Eliazar
Commemorated Aug 1
The Holy Macabbees martyrs, Habim, Antonin, Guriah, Eleazar, Eusebon, Hadim (Halim) and Marcellus, their mother Solomonia and their teacher Eleazar
The words of a virtuous woman and true mother to her sons:
2Ma 7:20-23 But the mother was marvellous above all, and worthy of honourable memory: for when she saw her seven sons slain within the space of one day, she bare it with a good courage, because of the hope that she had in the Lord. (21) Yea, she exhorted every one of them in her own language, filled with courageous spirits; and stirring up her womanish thoughts with a manly stomach, she said unto them, (22) I cannot tell how ye came into my womb: for I neither gave you breath nor life, neither was it I that formed the members of every one of you; (23) But doubtless the Creator of the world, who formed the generation of man, and found out the beginning of all things, will also of his own mercy give you breath and life again, as ye now regard not your own selves for his laws' sake.
Solomonia *believed* in the resurrection. The question all of us should ask ourselves is, would we also say these words if our children were being chopped to pieces because of our true Christian faith? If we wonder, then we have some work to do!
We also commemorate Eliazar, the holy priest, who manfully died for the faith. Would you deny your faith in order to not be wounded in your body? Or would you *pretend* to deny it in order to escape? Eliazar was offered this option, and because of his virtue, he had great courage, and refused to even appear to deny his faith.
2Ma 6:18-31 Eleazar, one of the principal scribes, an aged man, and of a well favoured countenance, was constrained to open his mouth, and to eat swine's flesh. (19) But he, choosing rather to die gloriously, than to live stained with such an abomination, spit it forth, and came of his own accord to the torment, (20) As it behoved them to come, that are resolute to stand out against such things, as are not lawful for love of life to be tasted. (21) But they that had the charge of that wicked feast, for the old acquaintance they had with the man, taking him aside, besought him to bring flesh of his own provision, such as was lawful for him to use, and make as if he did eat of the flesh taken from the sacrifice commanded by the king; (22) That in so doing he might be delivered from death, and for the old friendship with them find favour. (23) But he began to consider discreetly, and as became his age, and the excellency of his ancient years, and the honour of his gray head, whereon was come, and his most honest education from a child, or rather the holy law made and given by God: therefore he answered accordingly, and willed them straightways to send him to the grave. (24) For it becometh not our age, said he, in any wise to dissemble, whereby many young persons might think that Eleazar, being fourscore years old and ten, were now gone to a strange religion; (25) And so they through mine hypocrisy, and desire to live a little time and a moment longer, should be deceived by me, and I get a stain to mine old age, and make it abominable. (26) For though for the present time I should be delivered from the punishment of men: yet should I not escape the hand of the Almighty, neither alive, nor dead. (27) Wherefore now, manfully changing this life, I will shew myself such an one as mine age requireth, (28) And leave a notable example to such as be young to die willingly and courageously for the honourable and holy laws. And when he had said these words, immediately he went to the torment: (29) They that led him changing the good will they bare him a little before into hatred, because the foresaid speeches proceeded, as they thought, from a desperate mind. (30) But when he was ready to die with stripes, he groaned, and said, It is manifest unto the Lord, that hath the holy knowledge, that whereas I might have been delivered from death, I now endure sore pains in body by being beaten: but in soul am well content to suffer these things, because I fear him. (31) And thus this man died, leaving his death for an example of a noble courage, and a memorial of virtue, not only unto young men, but unto all his nation.