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  • Writer's pictureThe Hermit of Antipolo

The Call of Mattathias (Modernism Part 26)


Today’s readings:

1 Maccabees 2:15-29

Psalm 50:1-15

Luke 19:41-44


Jesus lamented over Jerusalem. “As he drew near, he saw the city and wept over it.” (Lk 19:41). It had not truly known the peace of God that was brought by the Prince of Peace, and worse, it was set for destruction (Lk 19:42-43). I can imagine that Jesus would also lament the situation of his people and the Church today at the hands of those who persecute his people.


  • “They will smash your children within you” (Lk 19:44b). Abortion of the unborn inside the wombs of their mothers is so widespread throughout the world, and continues to be aggressively pushed by the powers-that-be.

  • “They will not leave one stone upon another within you” (Lk 19:44c). Nations’ borders are being torn down and national sovereignty violated, with unfettered immigration that is strongly pushed by liberal hands. The Pope condemns building walls. What has resulted now is chaos, whether in the US southern border with Mexico, or in the Poland-Belarus border.

  • “They will smash you to the ground” (Lk 19:44a). Protesters against injustices and state overreach, pro-life councilors at abortion clinics, evangelical pastors who defy unjust lockdowns, are literally being forced to the ground, arrested and cuffed, and put into jail.

  • “They will encircle you and hem you in on all sides.” (Lk 19:43b). Faithful Catholics are surrounded by powerful enemy forces all around (Big State, Big Tech, Big Pharma). And tragically, the enemy is also within the Church.


Why? “Because you did not recognize the time of your visitation.” (Lk 19:44d). Most of the Jews, even up to today, did not accept Jesus as Messiah. But in a way the situation today is worse, as many Christians have now turned their back on Jesus. So Jesus weeps, but also, he will exact judgment.


Yes there are still those Catholics who practice, in some ways. “Not for your sacrifices do I rebuke you, your burnt offerings are always before me.” (Ps 50:8). But many are just going through the motions. Even many parishes have focused on maintenance (with the irony that we still lose Catholics by the day). What really does God expect? “Offer praise as your sacrifice to God; fulfill your vows to the Most High.” (Ps 50:14). What faithful Catholics need to do is to worship God, loving Him with their all. They need to live the covenant. They need to obey His commandments. They need to fulfill the requirements of their Baptism and Confirmation.


As it is today, many Catholics, including the ordained, have become liberal and modernist. They may still speak in ways seemingly Christian, but already in contradiction to God’s way of righteousness. So who do we look up to or listen to, when even those in high authority in our Church are veering left, are liberal, are modernist, are fully in sync with the worldly powers in opposition to God?


We look to the saints, but going even farther back through salvation history, even before Christianity, we look to the Maccabees.


At that time, pagan forces were already forcing apostasy on God’s people. “The officers of the king in charge of enforcing the apostasy came to the city of Modein to make them sacrifice.” (1 Mc 2:15). Notice: there was someone in charge of enforcing the apostasy! This is like the UN today appointing an LGBT czar to ensure LGBT is promoted and accepted throughout the world. This is like US President Biden ordering the whole federal government, especially the FBI, to clamp down on parents protesting liberal indoctrination of their children, and labeling them domestic terrorists.


Unfortunately, many Catholics have easily succumbed to the spirit of the age and the assault by the culture of DEATH. “Many of Israel joined them” (1 Mc 2:16a). Even many of our Church pastors and authorities are complicit. But there is always a faithful remnant. And so it was that “Mattathias and his sons drew together” (1 Mc 2:16b) and resisted the forced apostasy. Notice: Mattathias spoke for his family and kin. “Yet I and my sons and my kindred will keep to the covenant of our ancestors.” (1 Mc 2:20). This is so different from many Catholic parents today who no longer give godly instruction and guidance to their children, nor rebuke their children for their embrace of the zeitgeist.


Mattathias insisted on remaining faithful to their covenant with God. “Heaven forbid that we should forsake the law and the commandments.” (1 Mc 2:21). Many Catholics today no longer obey God’s commands, nor look to the demands of authentic Christian love and righteousness. Mattathias remained firm, in direct and open opposition to the power-that-be. “We will not obey the words of the king by departing from our religion in the slightest degree.” (1 Mc 2:22). There could be no compromise. There could be no accommodation. There certainly would be no embrace of what was wrong. Even civil or state authorities would be resisted. This is about conscientious objection, about protecting individual rights and liberties. Civil disobedience is a Christian option.


In fact, Mattathias slew an apostate Jew who was going to offer sacrifice on the altar in Modein, which was in accordance with the order of the king (1 Mc 2:23,24b). And he slew even the messenger of the king and tore down the pagan altar (1 Mc 2:25)! “He was filled with zeal; his heart was moved and his just fury was aroused” (1 Mc 2:24a). Now who do we know who also acted with the same zeal for righteousness? It was Jesus, who violently drove the merchants out of the Temple.


Now I do not advocate violence. But as with the example of Jesus and Mattathias, it cannot be ruled out if in defense of the faith, and especially when the pagan hordes are out to stamp out our faith and to exterminate God’s people. War against Germany which committed the holocaust against the Jews was a just war. The armed uprising by the Vendees in France and the Cristeros in Mexico against governments that wanted to stamp out the faith was justified.


In his defense of faith, Mattathias was willing to give up all. “Then he and his sons fled to the mountains, leaving behind in the city all their possessions.” (1 Mc 2:28). This was heroic, especially since the king’s messenger was enticing him to obey the king’s command, saying he and his sons will be numbered among the King’s Friends and honored with wealth (1 Mc 2:18). How easily Catholics succumb today to the enticements of the world. For Mattathias, this was about what was right and just and true. At that time, unlike today, many agreed with him and made the same sacrifices. “At that time many who sought righteousness and justice went out into the wilderness to settle there.” (1 Mc 2:29).


The call today, in the face of a massive onslaught against faith, family and life, is to Christian heroism. It is Mattathias’ call. “Then Mattathias cried out in the city, ‘Let everyone who is zealous for the law and who stands by the covenant follow me!’” (1 Mc 2:27). For us it is a call to be holy warriors. It is God’s call. “Gather my loyal ones to me, those who made a covenant with me by sacrifice.” (Ps 50:5).


How do we respond? God says, “Listen, my people, I will speak; Israel, I will testify against you; God, your God, am I.” (Ps 50:7). God has been speaking loudly to us, the latest being the COVID pandemic which is His chastisement on the world. Are we listening? Are we turning back to Him? We do call on Him with the Church’s oratio imperata, but there is no call to repentance, which is what God looks for. “Then call on me on the day of distress; I will rescue you, and you shall honor me.” (Ps 50:15).


We as holy warriors are to defend faith, family and life. We follow Jesus our Lord, and that holy warrior Mattathias.


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